The world has just come out of a deadly battle with COVID-19, but it has yet another battle to conquer – Global decarbonization and reduction in emission of Greenhouse Gases (GHG).
Utilities across the world are focusing on a different sustainability roadmap — to decarbonize energy by rendering products and services that consume renewable energy such as electricity and solar power. They also envision to promote green growth and incentivize electric production as well as consumption.
In many countries, new utility business models such as energy storage and micro-grids are introduced to transition the world to decentralized solutions.
35% of commercial buildings’ electricity needs currently not met – ETC Report
The Energy Transmission commission (ETC) report indicates that in the residential and commercial building sector alone, at least 35% of energy needs not currently met by electricity could be electrified by 2040. The demand for a low-carbon tomorrow underscores the need to leverage technology and upcoming opportunities from more decentralized, decarbonized, and distributed electric energy.
Electric Vehicles (EVs) embracing Digital Transformation
There is a substantial growth in electric vehicle (EV) consumption as world leaders seek to curb the overall carbon footprint and demand for emission-free transportation. Some predict that one out of six cars in the world will be electric by 2025. If the prediction turns out to be true, then EVs will contribute to an efficient, cleaner, and digitized energy system contributing to global decarbonization.
Utilities must embrace digitization and leverage digital technology tools such as IT, OT, and IoT systems to create robust data-driven infrastructure to optimize power consumption.
Like Petrol Pumps today, the EV generation would need electric charging infrastructure that pans-out across cities, highways, and rural areas so that people are not left stranded on roads due to power shortage and lack of charging grids. It’s time for utilities to look for better solutions to generate power and fulfil increasing demands. They must embrace digitization and leverage digital technology tools such as IT, OT, and IoT systems to create robust data-driven infrastructure to optimize power consumption.
Data and insight-driven models can help utilities to customize consumption and deliver power in a more decentralized way. Based on data patterns and predictions, the infrastructure can be scaled and future demands could be planned and met. Digitization can help utilities transform their business model – with real-time operations and control, with a more dynamic power distribution marketplace.
Digital technology solutions can also help in building the consumer-facing infrastructure as well. Over-the-air (OTA) software updates and dynamic subscription models with ‘pay-as-you-go’ charging docks can help users extract more benefits from using EVs over their diesel and petrol-based counterparts. The e-mobility market is growing rapidly with an intent to reduce the carbon footprint and create a better customer experience.
Journey towards zero emission
Global leaders have launched fruitful initiatives to achieve zero emission in their own ways. The UK plans to achieve zero-emission by 2040, while India plans to achieve 80% of card on roads to be EVs by 2030. India’s National Electric Mobility Mission Plan aims to have 6-7 million electric vehicles on road with incentives for consumers to drive a shift in the public intent from using IC (Internal combustion-engines) vehicles to using EVs. The NITI aayog-led mission of electric mobility has been approved by the cabinet. Another scheme launched in 2015 by the Union Government – Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicle (FAME), plans to link electro-mobility into existing public transport and is already initiated.
Intent-led innovations across the globe have contributed towards transforming utilities and achieving low-carbon objectives. But innovation alone isn’t the answer. It’s about scalable innovation. Renewable and electric solution providers must ensure that they leverage digital technologies and data-driven insights to optimize their solutions, provide consumers with best-of-breed infrastructure, fulfil consumer demands, and reduce the carbon footprint in the decades to come.