Despite the fact that many utilities have improved power plant performance in recent years to adapt to the changing market environment and competition, an end-to-end digital transformation of power plants could still provide significant bottom-line benefit to utilities.

FREMONT, CA: Power generation, like many other businesses, is becoming increasingly digital. Despite this, many players are only now beginning to take steps to extract value from tech-enabled initiatives and establish new working practices. Even the most technologically advanced players have only implemented a small number of isolated digitization use cases, which are often not directly connected to business value.

Simply put, power companies are not nearly as modern as they could be, resulting in greater operations and maintenance costs. Furthermore, due to continued power-market liberalization and large-scale deployment of various renewable energy sources such as solar and wind in Europe and the United States, cost pressure for thermal assets—namely, coal and gas—continues to climb. In Asian markets, such as Japan, similar developments are envisaged. These circumstances have resulted in a slew of severe pitfalls across markets. Operations, maintenance, energy efficiency, and Health, Safety, Security, and the Environment (HSSE) can all benefit from tech-enabled transformation, which blends new technologies with traditional improvement.

Despite the fact that many utilities have improved power plant performance in recent years to adapt to the changing market environment and competition,an end-to-end digital transformation of power plants could still provide significant bottom-line benefit to utilities. To succeed, executives will need to undergo a triple makeover in the near future.

This strategy necessitates executives putting equal emphasis on business, technology, and the organization. As a result, not only are use cases defined and implemented but they are also linked to value. The backbone for quick deployment can be provided by two-speed IT and data architecture. The new ways of working will be informed by revised governance, roles, and skills, which will aid in the transition plan's alignment with the business road map.

Power plant digitization is now possible thanks to recent technology advancements, and market pressures have made it necessary. Those who make the appropriate decisions may generate short-term value and long-term change, both of which will aid in mastering the next S-curve of asset performance—a necessity in an increasingly difficult market climate for coal and gas power plants.

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