SAP: GenAI to redefine innovation for the utilities industry

Daniela Haldy-Sellmann, Head of Energy and Utilities Industry at SAP, shares how generative AI will redefine innovation for the utilities industry

As the year draws to a close, industry leaders are predicting what the energy and utilities sector could look like in 2024. 

Daniela Haldy-Sellmann, Head of Energy and Utilities Industry at SAP, shares her thoughts on how generative AI will redefine innovation for the utilities industry, how the end customer will be increasingly pivotal to a net zero future and how technology advancements will build momentum toward a decentralised energy generation system.

SAP predictions for 2024: Rapid evolution of technology to propel toward decentralised energy generation system

In 2024, intelligent co-pilots will empower utilities to leverage the potential of generative AI for their business processes based on concrete and connected enterprise data. Armed with these tools, utilities will be able to predict energy consumption patterns with unprecedented accuracy, enabling them to offer tailored solutions and optimise resource allocation. Furthermore, in grid optimisation, generative AI digital assistants will be able to analyse data from smart meters, sensors and other sources, streamlining processes and effectively balancing supply and demand to minimise energy losses. AI will have a dramatic impact on energy load management and forecasting capabilities as well. 

In the year ahead, the energy industry will depart from the traditional view of end customers merely as commodity users with energy or gas contracts. Recognising the active role customers can play in the energy transition, industry leaders will aim to not only secure loyalty and create ‘retail-like experiences, but encourage informed and sustainable decision-making among consumers, especially in regions lacking access to abundant natural resources. By steering end-customers’ energy demands and encouraging contributions to grid balance, particularly during peak times when demand is high, consumers will become an active part of the renewable energy equation via demand response programs. 

While there is a long road ahead, the rapid evolution of technology will propel us toward a decentralised energy generation system, where smaller and varied energy sources contribute to the grid. In the year ahead, industry leaders will be implored to invest in new digital business models to support this shift, offering an alternative to extensive grid expansion. Further, we’ll see significant investments, particularly in the United States, to adapt ageing grid infrastructure to accommodate the diverse sources contributing to the grid and solidify the trajectory towards a more democratic and sustainable energy future.

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