Four main trends reflect these changes: the transition to renewable energy sources, the decentralization of electricity generation, the focus on the energy efficiency of buildings and urban infrastructure, and the development of the latest Internet of Things technologies that contribute to this.
Businesses are transforming in the wake of changes in the behavior of consumers who do not let go of gadgets from their hands, even when they sleep and take a shower. Not far off is the emergence of autonomous vehicles, robot chefs and other devices from science fiction films. .
Against this backdrop, the global energy production and distribution industry is being restructured. The volume of production of raw materials for generating electricity in the “classical” way – coal, gas – is falling all over the world. Solar energy production has been growing for ten years in a row. By 2040, the cost of this method will decrease by another 66%. Already in 2021, the sun will be a cheaper source of energy than coal in countries such as India, Mexico, the UK, Brazil. As a result, in 2030, half of all new power generation and batteries will use solar technology.
The solution to the problem is the transition to energy-efficient technologies. Green-certified buildings emit 34% less carbon dioxide, use 25% less energy, and use 11% less water
The active growth of the market for the consumption of energy from renewable sources leads to the decentralization of the industry. According to the same Bloomberg forecast, by 2040, rooftop solar panels will generate 24% of all electricity in Australia, 20% in Brazil, 15% in Germany, 12% in Japan, 5% in India and the United States.
On the other hand, it is buildings that consume an excessive amount of energy, ahead of transport and industry in this indicator. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, these facilities generate 40% of total carbon dioxide emissions. The solution to the problem is the transition to energy-efficient technologies. Their owners save a lot, and often also receive benefits from the Government – many states are fighting to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The three trends outlined above give rise to the fourth – the demand for digital technologies of the industrial Internet of things (IIoT). Falling costs for solar energy generation, growing demand for it, as well as decentralization of electricity generation require new approaches to the organization of distribution networks. They should become “smart” and bi-directional. The so-called smart grids or intelligent electrical networks make it possible to turn off consumers at those moments when they themselves can provide themselves with energy, to accept the excess energy that they have generated against the payment previously consumed, to redistribute it, and so on.
Solution providers for electric utilities are forced to change under the influence of these trends. Schneider Electric is an example of how one of the oldest market players was able to adapt to these changes and switch to the production of new “digital” equipment that is in demand in the modern paradigm. Since its founding in 1836, the corporation has been producing complex machines, specializing in electrical power equipment for the last 40–45 years. About ten years ago, the company began to focus on “green” technologies.
the development of new solutions and approaches, demonstrating their effectiveness, including by their own example. In 2012, Schneider Electric’s headquarters in France, called Le Hive, became the first building in the world to receive ISO 50001 certification, which is awarded to organizations that have managed to build a process to continuously optimize energy consumption and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In recent years, the company has reduced electricity consumption at all its facilities by tens of percent through the use of its own digital equipment and the introduction of new approaches to infrastructure management.
The fight to make buildings greener and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is accompanied by growing demand for IIoT technologies
In recent years, many companies around the world have taken a course towards energy efficiency – they are engaged in the digitalization of infrastructure and the transformation of buildings into “smart”.
The fight to make buildings greener and reduce greenhouse gas emissions is accompanied by a growing demand for IIoT technologies. The infrastructure of various office and residential buildings is becoming smart, thereby reducing energy consumption, building maintenance costs, improving control and management capabilities, and increasing reliability and safety. Real estate, as an asset, with the right use of IIoT, becomes a more valuable object.
This trend is reflected in a study by Schneider Electric, which polled 2,500 representatives of organizations around the world. Of these, 70% confirmed that they see value for business in IoT technologies. There are also organizations in Russia that are actively studying or already implementing such technologies. For example, with the help of Schneider Electric specialists, the multidisciplinary clinical medical center Grand Medica, one of the largest in Siberia, has built an energy-efficient and safe electric power infrastructure. It works as a single hardware and software complex with centralized intelligent control.
The infrastructure of various office and residential buildings is becoming smart, thereby reducing energy consumption, building maintenance costs, improving control and management capabilities, increasing reliability and security.
Schneider Electric solutions were also used to build a new data center building (data processing center) in the Zhigulevskaya Dolina technology park, which is expected to reduce energy consumption by 50%, saving 3 million rubles a year. Many new residential complexes in the Russian Federation are being built in partnership with Schneider Electric according to energy saving standards.