Sustainability has been a topic of increasing focus over the last decade. Business have transcended a mere risk-based approach and adopted a definitive & more holistic ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) approach for driving sustainability. While Global enterprises have started on this journey, they are faced with significantly steep goals. The increasing adoption of historic ‘Paris Agreement’ by close to 200 countries has led organizations to are constantly identify opportunities for reducing emissions while meeting the increased energy demand. Various initiatives are being taken by enterprises for accelerating decarbonizing efforts of their existing operations. The role of digital technologies is therefore poised to be the highlight in reducing overall carbon footprint by real time measurement, monitoring and control of emission as well as manage energy better.
We believe decarbonization in its fundamental form will pivot the shift to sustainable way of doing business for most organizations across the global landscape in the near and mid-term. These areas underscore Energy and emission management, Renewable energy, Energy storage & management and Electric vehicle and charging infrastructure.
The growing focus on sustainable operations has urged most business to monitor and track their carbon footprint. To do so its almost imperative to adopt systems and tools that would help identify, track and report scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions. The biggest challenge for most industries is acquisition, digitization, validation, visualization and reporting of existing emission data. Today almost 90% of such critical information exists in raw form and is maintained in excel spreadsheets. Within global enterprise structure, the complexity of reporting multiplies, merely due to the geographical spread of operations and number of international standards according to which such information needs to be furnished. Hence there is an emerging need to apply digital interventions which will ease the process as well as ensure higher level of accuracy and integrity of data reported.
Electricity has been a key driver of development of human civilization. However, for the past century, generation of power has been primarily based of fossil fuels. Electricity generation is now transitioning from carbon intensive to carbon neutral technology shifting away from coal fired to Solar PV based and Wind energy-based electricity. Despite lower maturity of core photovoltaic technology and higher dependence on non-foreseeable weather parameters, these new energy sources are gaining momentum due to the evolving maturity of complementary technologies in Energy Storage and Management. Further the growing scale renewable energy sources, it has become imperative for the Assets managers to operate their assets at optimum efficiencies. It’s imperative to harness the latent potential of these assets through cost- time-quality sensitive maintenance strategy via IoT, advanced analytics, helping developers to move away from SCADA based real time operations to risk based predictable operations. Improve occupational Health and Safety of site personnel while helping them improving their capability on-the-go is going more and more digital.
Efficient energy storage is the missing link between the intermittent renewable power source and a stable grid system with a 24/7 power supply. Energy storage has wide implications in power (renewable energy) and transportation (electric mobility) sectors. In the electricity sector, energy storage enables smooth integration of renewable energy into the grid and helps reduce energy cost for consumers. In transportation sector energy storage is the main power plant for electric vehicle (EV). As EVs evolve, its energy requirements will rise exponentially. Energy Storage is also poised to become grid scale and newer technologies are under development to build gigawatt-scale infrastructure for energy storage. Energy storage technologies will become the backbone for both EVs an renewable power landscapes with advanced analytics for improving storage and dispatch efficiency, track and trace technology for monitoring assets, integrations for fleet management, theft prevention etc.
As Energy storage systems evolve, so will the need for improving the infrastructure which can support battery as a commodity. Infinite challenge, known and unknown exist today in the space of EV charging and infrastructure. As the concept of fuel stations transform into charging station or hybrid stations, significant scope lies on the optimal operations and customer experience. Digital has already started making its significance felt in the space and its visible role today is just the tip of the iceberg.
The article has been written by Rajesh Gharpure, EVP & Global Head- Manufacturing and Sustainability, L&T Infotech (LTI