Towards a new business model.

The energy sector is immersed in a process of transformation seeking a more sustainable and conscientious model.


Climate change and sustainability, both social and environmental, are the pillars that will structure the transformation of the energy sector. As research and development of renewable energies begins to bear fruit, these must coexist in a period of transition with non-renewable energies, with a parallel research to reduce their negative impact and achieve greater energy efficiency.

While there is an evolution in the production of energy, the sector must face challenges such as the firm intent on a new model of electrical mobility or the firm support of self-consumption as the basis for a new model of distributed generation. In the short term, demand management, storage capacity, grid digitalization and new grid operation schemes will be essential to provide flexibility to the system.

Four global issues will influence the future of the sector:


Climate Change Impact

Growing energy demand and climate change will force more energy production with lower emissions. Distributed energy generation is on the way.

Energy Efficiency

The energy efficiency aimed at profitability, security, and automation. The focus should be on operational improvement in the area of Smart Grids.

High Competitiveness

Constant entry of new competitors to the commercial market, with a high competition in rates and generating very tight profit margins.

Aware Customer

Users are no longer just consumers, they can also be producers. More aware of the situation, they demand technological, sustainable and ecological solutions.

To achieve the digital transformation, companies must work on 3 aspects:


Asset life cycle

  • Asset performance management.
  • Digital field workers.
  • Smart asset planning.

Grid optimization and aggregation

  • Energy aggregation platform.
  • Real-time supply and demand.
  • Real-time control.

Integrated customer service

  • Storage integration.
  • Energy management.
  • Digital customer model.
  • Energy solutions integration.

Digital innovation to redefine the sector:


The sector will face big challenges in the next few years, and only companies with the ability to react with high agility and fast T2M will be positioned as leaders in the industry. Technology* will respond the companies’ needs taking into account three key axes: sustainability, climate change and security of supply.

The epicenter of the changes will be related to the intelligent optimization of the energy grids, complying with the principle of the circular economy, which highlights the importance of efficient management and re-use of resources. On the other hand, the capacity to adapt and anticipate changes in new regulations, prioritize green energies and focus on energy efficiency, will be critical competitive aspects.

*In Vector ITC we are accredited by the EOI, linked to the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism as a company with experience in the Diagnosis and Implementation of Industry 4.0 Projects.


Internetof Things

It is essential to analyze the consumption and the operational business to respond in real time to the needs of the demand and the company. This is possible thanks to the IoT devices that connect to the grid to extract information and therefore be able to carry out processes automatically, with remote monitoring and control. This technology allows, for example, the automation of plant audits, storage surveillance and control, or the monitoring of plants, distribution and trading.

The number of devices connected to smart grids will increase exponentially in the coming years. In order to manage them properly, it is necessary to have an enterprise IoT platform that can be integrated into the company’s technological ecosystem and be able to connect to a wide variety of signal and information sources. In this way it will be possible to process large amounts of data through Cloud environments and provide self-service of advanced visualization and analytic tools. Thanks to the IoT platforms it is possible to improve the operational performance of industrial plants and installations and obtain real-time information, allowing the company to act on the assets to make them more efficient.

Smart Meter

Smart meters allow for the optimization of energy distribution and generation, eliminating overproduction and improving energy efficiency. The consumer has real time information of his consumption, being able to disconnect from the grid to self-consume energy (in case he owns it), and therefore obtain a more accurate billing. Companies can obtain information about the consumption so they can anticipate fluctuations in demand.

Smart Grid

The combination of electrical distribution networks with new technologies allows remote monitoring and continuous adjustment of production and consumption in an automated way. They are two-way grids, the electricity is transmitted in both directions, so consumers can become small producers.

Microgrid

The centralized electricity system has evolved into decentralized or distributed grids, allowing consumers to generate, distribute and regulate energy. In this sense, the decentralized market has generated the creation of peer-to-peer energy trading networks.


Big Data & IA

Thanks to IoT devices, companies have large volumes of data about production, machine and plant operation, process monitoring and user consumption. Through Big Data platforms and tools it is possible to analyze the information both to know better the customer and his consumption, and to improve the operative and the efficiency of the processes. In addition, thanks to advanced analysis and prediction models based on Artificial Intelligence, companies can anticipate and generate differential advantages.

  • Demand forecasting to adjust to possible fluctuations and reduce waste.
  • Increases energy efficiency and provides a safe, economical and sustainable supply.
  • Service offerings tailored to customer needs with customized rates.
  • Drastic improvement of process performance through predictive maintenance analysis to eliminate accidental problems and machine downtime.
  • Analysis of consumption and adjustment in real time to the needs of the consumer and the company.
  • Support for both operational and strategic decision making.

Blockchain

Blockchain can be a basic axis for the transformation of the transactional infrastructure of the sector, moving from centralized to decentralized structures. This technology is being used for data management, security in the energy supply system, real-time energy adjustments, financial monitoring and recording and traceability of interactions between different actors. It enables functionalities such as secure management of asset emission rights, renewable energy certificates and serves as a basis for metering, billing and compensation processes.


IntelligentAutomation

Automation allows to improve the speed and quality of decision making by collecting real time information, applying patterns and reference values, and generating alarms and messages that make the work easier for the employees. This allows the interaction with the processes by a software, without assuming risks in plant (SCADA). In addition, automation drives the transformation in any phase, allows the control of the traceability of operations and assets, and offers solutions in commercial processes such as fraud liquidation, On-Boarding in contracting or automatic invoicing.

Regarding Robotization, it is very useful in the maintenance and inspection of risk assets, which are difficult to access and require a great deal of time. There has also been a boom in the use of Robots and Cobots (Collaborative Robots) in factories, driven by the improvement in efficiency.

Intelligent automation, robotization and total sensorization of assets will revolutionize the optimization of processes related to the generation and distribution of energy.



Cybersecurity

The services provided by this industry are a fundamental part of the economy and society, and therefore, so in addition to the usual attacks, they have to face attacks with national targets. These companies must ensure the resilience of the ecosystem against security threats or accidents. The industry has a lot of experience with physical threats or failures, but not with cyber attacks, and with increasing digitalisation, connected devices and the new role of consumers; they have become vulnerable to potential attacks such as DDoS or Ransomware. In this context, it is vital to design and execute a comprehensive Cybersecurity strategy, focused on securing the network and infrastructure, data encryption and prevention, with the aim of protecting the operational data generated by the infrastructure, as well as personal and consumer data provided by customers of different companies.


Augmented Reality

The AR can be a great help in the areas of support, plant control, maintenance and training, reducing the volume of errors and execution time. For example, training with devices that simulate the work scenario to carry out a process safely; simulate evacuation protocols in critical situations such as leaks or fires; or support through audiovisual and real-time content in the development of plant processes.


How do we help the sector in its digital transformation?

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