The Synergy of Technology and Energy

The Synergy of Technology and Energy
Schneider Electric and Infosys discuss the intertwining of technology and innovation and the importance of leveraging it for a brighter energy future

As sustainability and innovation become increasingly intertwined, technology and the energy sector together are a driving force shaping not just the future of the energy industry but the wider world.

Digitisation has allowed for individuals, businesses and governments alike to unlock new opportunities and achieve sustainable growth, and the intersection between technology and energy is pivotal to ensuring the efficient, secure delivery of services to millions — if not, billions — of people globally.

“By leveraging advanced technologies like data analytics, IoT and AI, we optimise operations and resource management across sectors, driving efficiency and cost reduction while implementing predictive maintenance programmes,” says Ashiss Dash, EVP & Global Head Services, Utilities, Resources & Energy at Infosys.

The IT consultancy’s commitment to sustainability extends to adopting renewable energy solutions, implementing sustainable transportation practices and managing carbon emissions effectively. This applies to its own business too as, as well as being a global leader in energy transition and sustainability, it has been carbon neutral since 2020, 30 years ahead of the Paris Agreement’s 2050 deadline. 

Importance of energy investing in technology

“The industry segments that we serve in Services, Utilities, Resources and Energy (SURE) have a major role to play in energy transition and sustainability,” he adds. “We have taken the learnings from our own experience, developed digital solutions and built a partner ecosystem so that we can help our clients undertake a similar journey. By embedding sustainability into our business practices, we play the role of a Digital Energy Orchestrator to attract new customers, create revenue streams, design outcome-based models and drive continuous improvement.”

Kelly Becker heads up the UK and Ireland division at Schneider Electric, the technology giant named by sister title Sustainability Magazine as the world’s most sustainable company. As a sustainability practitioner, Schneider Electric helps its customers take positive climate action by reducing energy waste and lowering CO2 emissions, with 510 million tons of CO2 avoided since 2017. 

She shares Ashiss’ sentiments on how technology and energy work hand-in-hand, and how technology giants play a pivotal role in energy’s success and future.

“Smart investments in digital platforms that manage and automate electrical installations across buildings, office campuses, company data centres, manufacturing plants and industrial sites create a more efficient, reliable, safe, and sustainable business,” she explains. “These can be backed up by intelligent maintenance and monitoring that significantly extends the life of new, and even decades-old, electrical equipment.
“Equally, real-time monitoring of equipment in digitally driven industrial plants can help to lower production costs, meet regulatory compliance, and mitigate environmental impacts.

“When you consider the tangible savings on capital expenditure which can be made, besides speed, performance, and productivity gains, it’s hard to ignore the business case of investing in a more sustainable digital infrastructure. This shift not only reduces costs, but also aligns businesses with sustainability goals, making it a lucrative and accessible strategy for long-term growth.”

Technology plays pivotal role in securing energy’s future

Ashiss is firm in the belief that without technology, the energy transition could not reach the milestones it has, nor the ones ahead.

“Digital technology is a catalyst for holistic energy transition,” he continues. This is thanks to its ability to analyse relevant data, facilitate informed decision-making to realise near-term enterprise and region-specific emission reduction targets, as well as long-term sustainability goals – all while ensuring energy security and higher reliability. 

Through the integration of AI-driven solutions, for example, global energy systems undergo a transformative shift, enabling carbon capture, reduction and removal. 

He adds: “The synergy between AI and predictive analytics serve as reliable energy transition levers in the journey to net zero.”

Since 2020, Infosys has led in carbon neutrality, underpinned by its Energy Transition Practice which assists enterprises in achieving net-zero objectives. Collaborating with established energy solution providers like GE Vernova, bp and Shell and startups such as Prescinto, Bidgely, Invendis and VFlowTech alike, Infosys innovates in vital areas such as next-gen grid, sustainable transportation, carbon management, renewables and storage, net zero and sustainability and smart energy solutions.

“As a Digital Energy Orchestrator, Infosys shapes solutions by integrating IoT, cloud and AI/ML technologies, reducing costs and emissions, while enabling more efficient energy management,” Ashiss continues, outlining the vital role a company in the technology space can play in shaping the energy landscape.”

Despite the plethora of benefits of marrying technology and energy and sustainability objectives, Kelly highlights that barriers may pop up. But these are not to be feared.

“Smart investments in digital infrastructure, energy efficiency and condition-based maintenance prove reducing carbon footprint does not compromise profitability and competitiveness,” she explores.

“Overcoming barriers requires a shift in mindset, recognising that sustainability not only aligns with environmental goals but also enhances overall business resilience and competitiveness.”

Partnerships key to driving technology-charged energy future

As with other areas of energy and sustainability, partnerships, collaborations and ongoing relationships with other entities play a pivotal role in ensuring success. This allows action to be taken by empowering parties with the tools and knowledge to put their best foot forward.

For Infosys, collaborative ventures with industry leaders further sustainability and environmental benefits. One notable example is with bp, where Infosys co-created the Energy-as-a-Service platform. This AI-based, hardware-agnostic, smart energy management optimises energy supply and demand for power, heat, cooling and EV charging, driving improved energy efficiency and facilitating the transition to greener energy sources. 

It has also partnered with GE Vernova to accelerate grid transformation in the utilities industry. By combining GE’s expertise in the energy sector and a decade of investment in grid equipment and platforms with Infosys’ advanced digital capabilities in AI, Cloud and IoT, this collaboration builds a more sustainable and reliable grid infrastructure, as well as showcases the commitment to driving innovation and talent development.

Similar is seen at Schneider, which has helped PepsiCo reduce its global CO2 emissions by 40% and Nestlé Waters save 340 tons of CO2 used in the sparkling water process. It also runs its own operations based on sustainable principles, reducing energy costs by 30% across its smart factories and manufacturing facilities worldwide.   

“Sustainable strategies unlock long-term benefits and free up investment for broader initiatives,” Kelly concludes. “By adopting smart technologies, monitoring energy usage and investing in renewables, businesses not only improve efficiency but also positively impact the environment and local communities, creating a compelling business case for a sustainable model.”

Kelly Becker

President, UK, and Ireland at Schneider Electric

Digital automation and energy management

London, UK

Currently responsible for overseeing all operations in the UK and Ireland, Kelly has spent many years leading Schneider Electric’s business across the globe. Previously Schneider Electric Country President, Ireland and Vice-President of the Power Solutions Division in the US, Kelly led strategy and business development for Schneider’s US$4bn Partner Business with a focus on strategic growth and breakthrough initiatives, market and geographic expansions, as well as internal start-ups.

Kelly Becker

Ashiss Dash

EVP & Global Head Services, Utilities, Resources & Energy at Infosys

IT Consulting

California, USA

Ashiss has worked at Infosys for shy of 30 years and leads a highly driven team of client services professionals and technologists who are focused on creating leading-edge capabilities to help clients navigate their digital journey. He is responsible for the growth of this amalgamation of verticals.

Ashiss Dash

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