miércoles, 28 de junio de 2017

Digital transformation of sectors (III): Energy

The transformation of the production of energy in the late 19th century was the base of what Robert J. Gordon identified as the century of US growth (1870-1970). Without it, we would have not had what we call modern life conforts, such as electric power at home or cheap transport. Therefore, the application of digital technology to the energy sector create great expectactions as it is foreseen to fuel a complete revolution y the production, distribution and consumption of energy

Digitalisation will impact the supply and demand side of the energy sector. Regarding the demand, on one hand, consumption will be affected by the general trend towards the abandonment of ownership in cars, applianaces and other greater consumers of energy. This will certainly mean the need for different manner to sell energy packaged with the use of these goods. On the other hand, the deployment of smart meters will bring more personalised models of comsumption at home

On the supply side, digitalisation brings new opportunities across all the value chain. To begin with, the creation of new partnerships for production and distribution, for example, between legacy energy companies and telcos, that will create new platforms and marketplaces for energy distribution. But also, it will implies a more decentralised model for energy production, bringing us closer to the Rifkin´s zero-marginal cost society. A change in the production model that  can boost profitability by 20 to 30 percent.

In a higher degree than other sectors, cybersecurity is the great challenge to face in order to reap the benefits of digitalisation of energy. Only in the oil and gas sector, 68% of the companies have suffered some kind of cyberattacks. The short of digital skills in the sector, jointly with the combination of legacy and new technologies and the great disruption that could cause any failure of energy networks, makes the energy sector a natural targets for cyberattacks.  

The digitalisation of energy was one of the focus of the EU Digital Day in Rome. The great benefits and risks that technology could introduce in the sector are beginning to draw the right attention.

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