Technology is transforming many economic sectors, from food to logistics–and the energy sector is not immune. The role of digitalization in this industry cannot be underestimated wherein power transmission, generation and distribution sectors are making headways with surging adoption rates. In an attempt to optimize operations and reduce unplanned outages, power plant managers are increasingly investing in new technologies that are instrumental for realizing intelligent grids and interconnected assets. However, on the flip side, these initiatives are giving birth to new possibilities of cyberattacks. From a legal framework standpoint, the industry leaders are in search for scalability and flexibility in their structures that can keep comply with the regulatory mandate and adapt to an ever-changing environment.
In the thick of this paradigm shift, organizations are placing their winning wager on predictive analytics, big data, cloud computing and SaaS models for improved operations and functionalities, security of critical generation and delivery infrastructure, as well as maintenance of systems and aging physical assets. Powering the convergence of IT and OT with real-time analytics, a plethora of new applications can integrate smart meter data with outage management process, “ping” meters confirming outages and restoration, consolidate data on distributed energy resources and transform it into utility real-time control capabilities. Besides, the wave of IIoT is sparking new and advanced implementations in the energy industry, introducing rugged networking capabilities and supporting the number of SCADA systems and other legacy devices to overcome limited connectivity, power and network bandwidth issues. Adding to this, drones and robots are taking automation to new levels ushering in new ways to monitor operating environment, inspect high-risk equipment and maintenance.
Digital adoption goes hand-in-hand with the utilization of multiple channels. That said, the organizations have narrowed down their focus on closing the customer engagement gap with broad omnichannel engagement strategies that enable building digital momentum rapidly. While these channels are meeting the high demand for connectivity, customer experience, and operational efficiencies, a slew of advanced hands-free wearable technologies have also entered the picture, contributing to increased productivity and workplace safety.
It is self-evident that the futuristic energy systems require change. Albeit slow, that change is taking place in the energy sector in a truly massive way. With a horde of new technologies on the horizon, let's take a look at how new-age technology is shaping up the industry.