Converging trends will certainly increase industrial enterprises' adoption of energy management solutions and improve their interaction with electric utilities and the grid.

FREMONT CA: Energy management has become an increasingly important part of corporate strategy. Industrial businesses are scrutinizing their energy profiles more closely to uncover cost-cutting, decarbonization, and resilience possibilities and they are implementing energy management systems and taking on-site resources like renewable energy and energy storage into account. Several people are taking part in existing utility programs to meet their energy management objectives. Some see more potential in the more participatory electric utility and market programs that are emerging.

Possible revenue generation from the installation and maintenance of new services, like solar power, energy storage, and resiliency solutions, and possible value from customer-owned resources used for peak shaving, grid balancing, and deferring capital spending on grid infrastructure, are all possibilities for electricity providers.

Framing the opportunity for industrial companies

In the industrial sector, three trends are converging, allowing for higher grid interaction of industrial assets. The first is a significant shift toward Industry 4.0, which refers to the digital transformation of industrial processes and products. Cloud, AI, and IoT are bringing pervasive connectivity to everything from production line machines to heating and cooling systems to corporate areas and factory lighting. As a result of this interconnectivity, several of the assets within a building may be monitored, optimized, and maintained using data analytics and insights.

In accordance with the more significant energy transformation throughout the economy, the second trend is the electrification of industrial fleets and heating and cooling in various structures. Electricity now accounts for only around 11 percent of the overall industrial energy usage, with the rest coming from natural gas and other fuels. But as industrial businesses aggressively explore ways to further electrify their energy consumption as part of broader sustainability efforts, electricity use will keep getting more important.

Energy management, which includes tracking and optimizing energy use to achieve cost savings, carbon emissions reduction, and increased resilience, is the third trend converging with digital transformation and electrification. Resilience has always been a component of the equation when it comes to energy management for industrial organizations, but recent extreme weather or climate disasters, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and ice storms, have made it a priority.

DERs, like on-site solar power, wind power, and battery storage, are rapidly trying to make their way into industrial areas and can assist commercial and industrial businesses to accomplish their energy management objectives of cost savings, carbon reduction, and increased resilience. They include everything from decades-old combined heat and power systems to more contemporary implementations of on-site solar or wind energy systems, battery storage, microgrids, building-level nanogrids, or electric vehicle (EV) chargers.