Energy has the power to propel communities out of poverty, improve economic conditions, and provide a better quality of life for billions of people.
The ultimate challenge for the global community is to learn how to drive economic growth while reducing overall energy consumption. Utilities, which have a long tradition steeped in generating energy from fossil fuels and today produce 42% of the world’s total CO2 emissions, play a key role in this transition.
Let’s look at how utilities are transforming to address the issue of carbon emissions reductions:
- An operational shift to system-wide optimization – Forward-looking utilities are now embracing a holistic, highly-connected enterprise view. In this new scenario, operational intelligence is fueled by smart devices and analysis software that span energy generation, grid network, power distribution, and consumer consumption domains.
- A reconfiguration and reimagining of existing networks – Utility investors and stakeholders are realizing that much greater cost-control gains can be extracted through operational redesign. Despite existing legacy infrastructures, deployment of technology refreshes can improve the efficiency of the grid, thus enabling streamlined business processes.
- Adherence to standards and regulations – Utilities now factor in both regulatory risks and “green” consumer trends when they make important decisions that pertain to site location, technology interoperability, regulatory approval, and financing. Otherwise they risk making costly missteps that will result in stranded assets as the energy market evolves.
- A shift in asset management and operation – More emphasis is being placed on maintaining physical assets, and prolonging their lifespan, as the grid infrastructure faces increased disruption. The ultimate goal is to maximize investments by operating physical assets as closely as possible to their physical limits, thanks to streamlined operations and dynamically fine-tuned settings.
- Predictive modeling to streamline equipment maintenance – The new, connected technologies enable the deployment of accurate predictive models, where monitoring allows weakened assets to be discovered and proactively replaced. This saves hundreds of hours and tens of thousands of dollars per year by avoiding failures or unplanned (thus expensive) emergency servicing and by maintaining high efficiency operation.