Accelerating digitalisation in energy
Digitalisation - not an uncommon phrase in the business world. Organisations across all industries are implementing some form of digital strategy - and it's not just the CTOs and the CIOs driving the adoption - leaders ranging from CFOs to HR have their role to play in driving digitalisation.
With this in mind, Energy Digital takes a look at SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ white paper,, to understand the digital agenda for the energy industry, as well as what leaders in the sector will need when it comes to network infrastructure and data management in order to succeed.
“Big steps have been made in the energy sector around digitalisation,” commented SSE Enterprise Telecoms. By digitalising their operations, energy firms have benefited from improved efficiency, as well as improved connectivity and communication between sites, devices and equipment.
“However, the energy sector is a little way behind some of its peers – particularly with adoption of leading-edge data and telecommunications technologies,” said SSE Enterprise Telecoms.
With this in mind, SSE Enterprise Telecoms identifies in its report three elements that should shape a digital agenda in the sector.
It’s estimated that by 2050, the UK could save across the electricity system as a result of a more flexible energy system that facilitates the production of energy or modifies consumption in response to evolving circumstances.
“As things stand, progress with flexibility in the UK has been slower than anticipated. The IEA has identified that integration of systems, improved storage and better deployment (among other things) will be key to changing that story,” commented.
Monitoring and control
A core aspect of a smart grid is to be able to better understand capacity needs, demands and supply levels, in order to flex according to the demand.
“To do this, energy companies will be installing more and more sensors across the grid that will provide them with the oversight that they need,” stated SSE Enterprise Telecoms. “As they develop plans, they should keep in mind the networks that have to support data collection and transference [...] IT leaders need to ask themselves whether their current network would allow this to happen and, if not, how those gaps are bridged.”
These new priorities in the energy sector, outlined in SSE Enterprise Telecoms’ report, will result in increased pressure on the network and high demand on the core systems of providers.
“A key watch word in all this is ‘performance’. Without a clear view on network performance and potential issues, it will be all too easy for issues to arise that compromise the smart, consumer-centric way things will be done in the near future. And for the benefits energy companies should see to be compromised with it,” said SSE Enterprise.
Core challenges for the energy industry looking to implement a digital agenda
Data management and movement
With trends such as RIIO-2 to be implemented in 2021 and the increased focus on the smart grid and renewable energy market, SSE Enterprise Telecoms expects to see unprecedented high demand for data management and movement.
“Legacy network infrastructure is simply unable to cope with this. IT leaders should be looking to fibre connectivity solutions that will provide them with the low latency data transfer they need to monitor sites and keep people connected, as well as the high levels of reliability essential services like gas and electricity need,” noted
Beyond performance and reliability, improved visibility of network performance and issues that could affect the efficiency of supply and storage is needed to implement a digital agenda.
“SD-WAN is an ideal tool to implement in this regard. It provides IT and telecommunications leaders with clear network performance detail as it happens – enabling responsive and reliable decision making about the network,” commented