Digitalization in the energy industry – Report

The energy industry is in a phase of drastic change. To become carbon-neutral by 2050, the energy sector will need to undergo a massive transformation, switching to more sustainable renewable energy sources and driving electrification. In addition to the need to decarbonise, the industry is also becoming increasingly decentralised as a greater number of different energy sources interact, bi-directional power flows become standard and renewable energy is generated closer to where it is used.

gridX has taken a close look at this topic and published a comprehensive digitalisation report.

Digital tools for rescue

Change within the industry has led to new business models and changing roles as new and unconventional players enter the market. Increased volatility caused by the Covid 19 pandemic and the increased use of renewables means that players need to get smarter about the electricity supply chain. The energy sector is far behind other industries when it comes to digital innovation, and rapid acceleration is now the only way forward. Rather than acting as another force putting pressure on the industry, digitalisation in the energy sector should be seen as a solution to add value and increase efficiency and demand response of energy systems. A variety of technologies will contribute to the increasing digitalization in the energy sector.

Improve cost efficiency

Digital control optimizes grids to maximize renewable energy supply, reduce demand when electricity is most expensive and carbon-intensive, and thereby improve cost efficiency and resilience. For example, energy and utilities companies with an advanced level of digitization have seen, on average, a 10% improvement in net benefits (revenues minus costs).

gridX’s XENON platform, which connects and controls energy flows and enables real-time analysis of millions of data points, has enabled numerous companies to reduce costs and emissions enormously. By implementing AI-based dynamic load management systems, for example, E.ON could expand electric vehicle capacity from 49 to as many as 550-without expanding the grid.

Holistic system transformation

Rather than implementing an isolated digital solution and expecting ongoing benefits, companies need to transform the entire system to build digital expertise and stay abreast of constantly emerging technological advances. Stakeholders need to understand the importance of investing in digitalisation and embed it as a strategic priority. Challenges around security, privacy and regulation must also naturally become important considerations in this long-term approach.