Digital transformation in the renewable energy sector

Improved energy efficiency makes renewable energy companies gain increasing weight in the sector, and become more competitive. However, managing companies working with renewable energy is not easy, as they require 100% transparent management.

In this sense, digitalisation comes into play through management software that optimises their processes and thus their energy services and faces the challenges of these companies such as development and productivity.

The European Union’s environmental objectives require the support of digitalisation in both electricity generation and the management of interconnected electrical systems.

The variability that characterises renewable generation technologies, such as wind and photovoltaics, make the acquisition, processing and transmission of information essential in high volumes and at high speeds. This is precisely where Big Data comes into place.

The objectives in the European Recovery Plan, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy penetration and energy efficiency, drive the need to boost renewable energy and meet the dephosilisation cycle.

In this post we will talk about the digital transformation of the energy sector, and how digitalisation has become a facilitator for the sector’s evolution towards renewable energy.

Evolution of digitalisation in the energy sector

The energy sector is now in a profound transition towards a very important energy transformation, and digitalisation is one of the key facilitators to ensure that it is fulfilled.

Years ago, companies started by switching the use of analogue meters to digital meters, smart meters etc., in order to improve energy efficiency.

Digital technologies have so far been used to improve the energy management process, but that’s when they start using them to change the way energy is generated and distributed.

Digitalisation acts as a lever in the sector to combat climate change and optimise power generation processes to reduce emissions and meet the objective of decarbonisation of the energy model.

Main problems of the renewable energy sector

Although over the past decade, renewable energy has accelerated at a frenetic pace, overall energy consumption remains dominated by fossil fuels. Some of the most relevant impediments faced by companies in the sector are:

  • Geographically dispersed energy data: the opportunity for this to be exploited in a meaningful way is lost.
  • Lack of integrated platform: prevents industry players from making informed decisions, leaving data isolated and unverified in the marketplace.
  • Inability to track assets: from historical patterns to supply and demand trends, tracking is necessary to optimise supply of clean energy.
  • Lack of clear and traceable objectives: the absence of a roadmap towards the adoption of new technologies and an action plan prevent progress towards energy efficiency.

Benefits of digital transformation in the renewable energy sector

Digitalisation, if carried out within a studied plan and guided by an integrated operations platform, facilitates the integration of renewable energies, energy policies and transparency in the management of these. In addition, it allows to have the user much more connected, offering the following benefits:

  • Digitalisation tools and platforms help build renewable energy plants with automated processes, for informed decision making. In addition, the interconnections they propose are the basis for a more decentralised generation, thus avoiding isolated ‘energy islands’.
  • These platforms reduce downtime by offering alerts based on predictive maintenance, anticipating asset maintenance. The modernisation of production plants is necessary to make them more competitive and efficient.
  • They allow a more accurate forecast of the weather and market conditions, which helps to maximise renewable production, by offering a deep analysis of all information received in real time, to be able to make decisions and offer stability in demand.
  • The use of artificial intelligence and machine learning to optimise the engineering and construction of new renewable sources and plants reduces time to market, anticipating the benefits of free C02 generation and increasing production.

Digital-based future energies

New power plants are born digital by their design, guaranteeing the efficiency and high availability of their services. In addition, they are backed by digital twins that help with modelling, forecasting, and testing for optimal performance, from power generation to its link with the customers.

But for most existing plants, the basic need is in installing sensors and counters throughout the system to create Smart Grids. All these new systems must be connected to existing ones in order to achieve digitalisation in the sector.

Digitalisation with Nexus

Digital transformation is a crucial ingredient in the energy transition, allowing the integration of more and more renewable energies throughout the electrical system, increasing network reliability and helping to better manage energy demand.

To achieve this, energy companies must rely on management software capable of interconnecting all assets and centralising their management in order to transition to renewable energy generation and reduce the carbon footprint in their operations.

With Nexus Integra, you can manage your power plants, relying on state-of-the-art technologies to create advanced analyses and optimise your processes globally. Find out more about how it works and contact us so that we can offer you a tailored digital plan.