USEA – A Practical Guide to Asset Recovery and Circular Economy for Electric Utilities
While many electric utilities have ambitious power generation decarbonization goals, few consider resource circularity in climate targets, financial models, supply chain, and inventory management. Traditionally the electric utility sector has utilized the standard “take-use-make” approach of the linear economy in its supply chain and inventory planning processes. The circular economy model, which emphasizes a “make-use-reuse-refurbish-recycle” approach, has emerged as an alternative to reduce costs and mitigate supply chain disruptions for assets such as transformers, meters, and more. Refurbishment can also avoid emissions generated from electrical asset fabrication, supply chain, and disposal to meet targets in USAID’s Climate Strategy. Further, a utility or vendor that can refurbish and remake assets will have greater “storm stock” available, and hence have increased readiness to respond to natural disasters with benefits to reliability metrics and resilience goals. Asset reuse also enables lower-cost connections for low-income customers, thereby increasing energy access. These actions can provide immediate financial benefit for utilities and customers, and motivate the broader energy economy to transition towards a circular future with benefit to all stakeholders.
The Advancing Modern Power through Utility Partnerships (AmpUp) Program will hold a panel discussion including Arizona State University to introduce a practical framework for asset circularity for an electric utility, utility Salt River Project will focus on transformer shortages and mitigation strategies for grid-connected customers, and energy solutions provider Engie Energy Access will discuss circularity for solar home systems and mini-grid assets for off-grid customers.
An actionable guide to asset circularity will be shared with attendees.