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The Case for Digital Transformation in the Electricity and Energy Sectors

Bottom-line - Software abstracts complexity, allowing new forms of value to be created. 

Like all industries that have undergone digital transformation, the modern electric grid and the energy sector are discovering that we can shape the world around us to meet new goals – goals like supporting energy independence, mitigating climate change, and phasing out fossil-fuels. Digital transformation offers us a unique opportunity to make electric systems work better, while making previously unimagined advances possible. 

As an example, the digital transformation of the telecommunications industry offers the energy sector an important window into the future. Faced with exploding demand from video, audio, and data, rather than making costly investments in new hardware, telecommunication providers are pushing the envelop of information and communication technologies (ICT) to exponentially increase the capacity of their networks to carry more bits by literally leveraging the spaces between bytes. Electricity is ripe for similar digital transformation. 

Given that global energy demand is set to increase by nearly 50% in the next 25 years, to keep pace with electrification needs, innovations are necessary to do more with less. Coupled with the increased presence of cost-effective distributed energy resources (DER), new information and communication technologies (ICT), will allow the distribution grid and DER to be configured and optimized into more resilient and responsive networks of networks. The value of neural-like networks is that they can act to enhance or inhibit energy activation states making energy use more efficient, while creating overall system awareness of the network’s emergent requirements. 

By enabling responsive and intelligent demand for electricity, we can accommodate peak times and be more local in nature. ICT and DER will make it possible to avoid investments in new and expensive fossil-fuel generation facilities while meeting rising energy needs, including the phasing out of the internal combustion engine and the transition to electric vehicles. 

This paradigm change challenges the heart of legacy electricity, which has existed as a centralized, unidirectional, control-based industry. We can safely assume that if electricity shares the characteristics of other digitally transformed industries, it will move towards service-based products while becoming increasingly customer centric. Digitalization offers the promise of new business models structured around algorithms that integrate and harness billions of sensors and appliances, into a multitude of smart and efficient arbiters of energy products and services. A day will come when devices can negotiate real-time prices as either a load (consumer) or a resource (prosumer) of electricity, giving a whole new meaning to currency markets. 

By not wasting energy and by optimizing the potential of devices, vehicles, DER, and appliances to intelligently alternate between load and resource, we can transform the demands we place on the physical grid. ICT can help us to realize radical efficiencies in the effort to meet the rising clean energy needs of the planet.

Discussions

The modern digital technologies, it is a huge step to improvings of quality of services and an acceleration of process of provision, that service which is requested also in the necessary quantity. A ghost effect this not authorized interferences that can lead to extraction of information and that the most terrible to otklchit servers. Creators digital began to earn technologies on development and on protection at least not authorized interferences. For this reason these services strongly rise in price that has an adverse effect on the cost of the final product.

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Dear Shuli Goodman,

Good afternoon!

In response to your timely and interesting post, please consider my post A strategy of trajectory is required to transform the energy sector.

Best regards,

José Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio, PhD. @ Linkedin

System Leader

Creator of the EWPC-AF (also Value Added Electricity Architecture Framework)

Ex-IEEE Dominican Republic Subsection’s Interim Chair
IEEE Senior Life Member
BS ´68, MS ´71 & PhD ´72, all from Cornell University.

javs@ieee.org 
Follow me on http://twitter.com/gmh_upsa  (There is nothing so powerful as #TheWealthofGlobalization whose time has come)

Grupo Millennium Hispaniola Blog

Research and practice areas, and interests: Electricity Without Price Controls Architecture Framework (EWPC-AF); Business models, Systems architecture; Systems thinking; Retail marketing; Customer orientation; Information systems requirements and design; Market rules; Contract assistance.

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