CEPSI’s second day saw a host of leading Power Industry players deliver insightful presentations on the evolution of the sector to date and the challenges and impact of digitisation in the future.
Big Shifts in Electricity & Energy
Kickstarting this information-packed day, the first moderated presentation began with Brad Gammons, Global Managing Director of IBM Energy delivering a considered big picture analysis looking at ‘two sides of the same coin’; sustainability and value creation.
“Sustainability entails leaving the world better off tomorrow than it is today, but this must be balanced by design thinking,” said Brad. “Objectives and strategy need to be decided first before applying technology. Achieving sustainability involves the quality of our overall living environment whilst the technology used must be cost effective and user friendly. Data now surrounds everything we do, it is our oxygen,” said Brad.
Sharbini Suhaili, Group CEO of Sarawak Energy also stressed the importance of adapting to technological changes. “The future is digital and connected, so Sarawak Energy will transform into a digital utility. In order to survive industry disruption, we must adopt new business models to stay relevant.”
Sharbini also outlined the Internet of Me (IoMe) – as technology begins to connect bodies and minds, ICT will be integrated with people processes. Sarawak Energy already tracks customer satisfaction as part of their transformation. In addition to this, the power company are also including Electric Vehicles (EVs) as part of their official corporate fleet.
“Autonomous driving at ‘Level 3’ will be coming in 3 years,”
Dr. Alexander Kotouc, Head of Product Management at BMW i told the audience that when he visits Kuala Lumpur in the future he will probably come from the airport into town in an automated car. “Autonomous driving at ‘Level 3’ will be coming in 3 years,” says Alexander adding, “Growth in EV sales has evolved quickly and this year we will sell more than 180,000 EVs globally.” Alexander describes BMW’s EVs as highly emotional – combining beauty, electricity and sustainability.
Offering an economic perspective on the future of power, Dr. Ken Koyama, Chief Economist, Institute of Energy Economics Japan added ‘deregulation’ to the main three ‘Ds’ shaping the power industry. “Deregulation means that data can be monetised; for example, by examining customer data patterns that enable building retail relationships. Google has put thermostats in our home, it’s part of understanding consumer behaviour,” he said.
Digitalisation and Industrial Revolution 4.0
The second moderated panel was led by Venu Nuguri, Senior Group Vice President of ABB Group’s Power Grid Division, South Asia, Middle East and Africa. Venu outlined the evolution of today’s interconnected power grids with a vision for a future worldwide super grid. Highlighting disruption in the power grid industry, new business models are emerging such as that of Next Kraftwerke, a virtual power plant operator and power trader in Europe that brings 5,000 power plants into the regulatory market, connecting producers and consumers without owning any power plants.
How can a telecoms operator help power companies?
Paul Scanlan, Chief Transformation Officer of Huawei Technologies challenged delegates to think big. “How can a telecoms operator help power companies? The answer lies in synergies. Synergies reduce consumption costs by saving power with 5G and narrow-band IOT which provide critical communications for the power sector,” explains Paul. Huawei provides solutions for site sharing, AMI, SMART and SCADA networks and ICT.
Finishing off the session, Dr. Hiroshi Okamoto, Executive Vice President of TEPCO, Japan’s electric utility holding company, outlined another new perspective on the future – ‘Utility 3.0.’ in addition to adding another ‘D’ to future trends, ‘Depopulation’.
“Utilities involve the electricity business as well as other infrastructure services; transportation, water supply and sewerage,” said Hiroshi adding, “An integrated infrastructure service is possible in the future, Utility 3.0. The total population of Japan is expected to decrease by 20 percent meaning that every kind of infrastructure will face challenges of service sustainability.”