What is your vision for Fluence, as newly appointed CEO and President?
My overall objective is to continue advancing Fluence as the leading global provider of energy storage products and services, and cloud-based products for renewables and storage assets. Of specific note are three primary focus areas, on the one hand, expanding Fluence’s Software-as-a-Service products. Digitalization is a fundamental part of our business model and is an area with tremendous potential as the world moves toward achieving renewable energy targets. Second, we have a product road map so that they meet the growing demands of our customers in achieving the clean energy transition and enhancing grid flexibility. Finally, we are working on regionalizing our supply chains, turning them into a competitive advantage. The recent approval of the Inflation Reduction Act provides additional incentives on this front within the United States that we will work very hard to capture.
What is the greatest challenge you need to overcome in order to achieve all of these targets?
A major challenge that is threatening the rapid transition to a green economy is the lack of grid flexibility across the globe, which is surfacing in all regions that Fluence serves. Building renewables is not enough. Power systems must be adjusted to enable renewable power integration, and our products are critical in enabling this transition. In order to address this, we are using storage for energy shifting, as a peaking asset, for system stability, and for increasing grid utilization.
The supply chain received numerous hits starting with 2018, what has this transitional period been looking like for you?
Supply chain and manufacturing diversification has been part of our corporate strategy for some time now and Fluence has been moving to a more regionalized business model over the last couple of years. Just last month, we announced the launch of a new regional contract manufacturing facility in Utah. We also have a roadmap for regional manufacturing within Europe. We strongly believe that regional fulfillment will provide more flexibility for our customers and reduce the impacts of supply chain disruptions that we have experienced since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The help coming from the Inflation Reduction Act is a great boost to these efforts since it provides economic incentives and a sense of future predictability and consistency. Risk management is a vital step of mitigating against unexpected disruptions like the pandemic or the war.
The Cube technology is a sought-after product that you provide, what are its specificities?
We have an ecosystem of offerings, including modular, scalable energy storage products, comprehensive service offerings, and the Fluence IQ Platform, which delivers AI-enabled SaaS products for managing and optimizing renewables and storage from any provider. All three products are built on the same 6th generation technology which includes the Cube and Fluence OS 6.0. Fluence also sells two SaaS products, Mosaic™ and Nispera™. These software products are part of the Fluence IQ platform and are OEM agnostic, meaning they can be used with any underlying technology provider. Mosaic and Nispera are also designed to work with different asset classes, such as wind, solar, and hydro. The Fluence Tech Stack combines hardware, controls, software, and intelligence into an integrated foundation for safe and repeatable energy storage systems that are tailored to various use cases and applications. Innovations can take many forms, such as extensions to existing lithium-ion batteries, the connected “digital battery”, and even novel non-lithium-based battery chemistries.
Do you have a final message about the renewable energy industry and how it can shape the world?
Adding an increasing percentage of renewable energy into the grid brings the benefit of living in a sustainable world. The clean energy transition also has the power to help Europe overcome its energy and security crises, which are intertwined, unfortunately. However, building renewables is not enough.
Power systems must be adjusted to enable renewable power integration. Seeing how energy security crises are unfolding in different ways across the world, our work feels more urgent now than ever.
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