The Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and its advancements in technology with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) is enabling energy companies to run leaner, more efficient, sustainable and safer operations. It is critical for all energy and transportation stakeholders to be more digitized, flexible and dynamic to address the challenges of changing business models, ageing infrastructure, climate concerns, and the lack of global access to clean, reliable energy in many remote communities.
Enabling Energy Stakeholders
Digitization and decentralization mean that utilities can respond flexibly and effectively to consumers-turned-prosumers, empowering them to influence where their electricity comes from and when to consume it.
Smart Meters and micro-grids present a powerful tool for achieving efficiency gains. Micro-grids help consumers use energy in the most reliable, efficient and sustainable way possible. Given that they are easy to install, micro grids can also close the energy gap in remote communities that have little or no access to reliable electricity.
By leveraging digitization, IIoT improves asset management and performance; simplifies operational processes; heightens operational efficiency; and engenders proactive and agile operations upstream, midstream, and downstream.
For example, in the oil and sector, a smart pipeline network lets an operator see in real time and in immersive 3D whether a leak is about to form – and where does the risk lie. The power of IIoT in the oil and gas sector enables everyone – from producers to refiners – to operate safer, more efficient operations that increase margins and help reduce primary energy use.
Designing a Better Future
The transport sector is another significant contributor to emissions, contributing about 14 per cent to emissions globally. The transformations happening in the fields of energy and mobility are inevitable as urbanization increases with additional 2.5 billion people expected to live in cities by 2050. India is embarking on one of the fastest rural-to-urban transitions in human history, with 200 million more city dwellers expected by 2030, all using new buildings, roads and cars. The Government of India is increasingly looking at providing appropriate fiscal and policy stimulus to drive faster adoption of electric vehicles.
These trends have the potential to reinforce each other and actively contribute to make our cities smarter. The convergence of energy and mobility must be strategic, intentional and guided if cities and citizens are to receive maximum benefits.
Forward-thinking business leaders and policy-makers must act now to lay the foundation for sustainable innovation and to make countires energy positive and embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). The Internet of Things at the center offers an unprecedented opportunity in today’s energy world that is facing widespread transformation. The Internet has already altered the way we live, work, play, shop and entertain. Governments worldwide have already set their focus towards creating a Digital State and digitization is all set to touch every aspect of our existence.
Source: Shrinivas Chebbi, Schneider Electric / EnergyWorld.com
26 April 2018
Edited by Sherry Grant for SNCTechnologies newsletter