Access to energy is regarded as the very first foundation of life, progress, and education. Similarly, as the world continues to change, access to digital technology is just a vital, where the ability to connect to people, and machines, has been intertwined with that very same foundation.
Speaking at the recent Paris Innovation Summit, Schneider Electric CEO, Jean-Pascal Tricoire, highlighted the most critical energy trends reshaping how we do business – digitisation, decarbonisation, and decentralisation.
The Internet of Things and the digitisation of devices have provided new methods of delivering data, automation, and analytics to better manage energy and increase productivity and efficiency. This new technology has provided an opportunity to optimise the entire generation-to-consumption value chain, and Schneider Electric are proving themselves to be at the forefront of innovation in this regard.
“Schneider Electric is the biggest supplier of digital infrastructure on a global scale, and we have earned this position by providing our customers with a guarantee of a full secure powertrain when it comes to their automation lines. At Schneider Electric South Africa, we speak electricity all the time. And for us, this enormous evolution of electricity we are experiencing is exciting; it has become a full revolution,” says Albert Fuchet, Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa Cluster President.
While the IT sector has traditionally played a marginal role in global electricity consumption at just 10%, the demands of this sector are expected to double thanks to the emergence of big data and, multiplying at a rapid rate; this energy guzzler will become the fastest growing energy consumer in the years to come.
“The future of energy is more electric, more digitised, more decarbonised, and more decentralised. And our technologies enable these trends. With our EcoStruxure solutions, we combine energy technology with automation and software. And, as we invest in clean energy and connected technologies, we will continue to support the IT sector, and other markets, with powerful solutions needed to create a sustainable future and power the digital economy,” Fuchet continues.
“Schneider Electric has successfully positioned itself for this new future with 20 years of experience in the convergence of digital technology and access to energy. Our technology has been developed to ensure that life is on, powered, digitised and on at every moment.”
Amid a global evolution that favours energy systems that are cleaner and increasingly decentralised, it has become easier to generate energy, store it, and distribute it closer to the end user, mainly in part to advancements in renewables and storage technologies.
At the same time, digitalisation will allow customers and electricity system operators to control where, when, and how electricity is being used.
There are 2 billion people worldwide who still do not have access or the right access to energy, and the adoption of decentralised energy resources is gaining momentum. This is creating opportunities all over the world and across market segments such as solar, microgrids, smart grid, and grid automation. Decentralisation is expected to continue to grow as massive cost reductions of renewable energy, and the development of storage continues.
“Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure was first born in 1997, but for many companies, the IIoT is a recent revelation. When we first started to talk about factories using the internet for automation, people were very critical. Stubbornly, we kept working, and the first version was launched in 2008. Now 10 years old, we already have tons of experience and learning behind us.”