The energy industry is amidst the most dramatic period of change that it’s ever experienced. Advances in distributed energy resources, energy storage products, cleaner-burning fuels, and improved data management are driving monumental industry shifts. We’re amidst a metamorphosis of traditional power architectures, equipment, and policies.
A recent study released by Schneider Electric found that while most organizations feel prepared to compete in contemporary energy markets, their actions often indicate otherwise.
In fact, of 236 large corporations surveyed, the majority expressed that they felt equipped to compete in a decentralized, decarbonized, and digitized energy landscape, yet they are currently focused on conventional generation sources and energy architectures. Few, it seems, are taking steps to innovate and integrate new technologies. In fact, only 30% report that they have implemented or are actively planning to use energy storage, microgrids, combined heat and power, or a hybrid system.
To what can we attribute this hesitancy? The study identified two fundamental barriers to progress: internal alignment and data management. 61% of the companies surveyed indicated that their energy and sustainability decisions are not well coordinated within their organizations, across various teams and departments, while 45% of the respondents explained that organizational data is highly decentralized, handled at local or regional levels. Many further identified insufficient tools and metrics for data sharing and project evaluation as a major hurdle. What action can we take to eliminate these barriers?
“We are in the middle of a massive disruption in the way energy is consumed and produced,” Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman and CEO at Schneider Electric, said in a press release. “The near-universal focus on conservation is a positive. However, being a savvy consumer is only a part of what’s needed to survive and thrive. Companies need to prepare to be an active energy participant, putting the pieces in place to produce energy, and interact with the grid, utilities, peers, and other new entrants. Those that fail to act now will be left behind.”
As advances in energy technology disrupt the current business models, they inspire us to reimagine the traditional grid structure. It’s a remarkable transformation. And it’s up to us to make it happen.
What steps has your organization taken to be competitive in today’s energy markets?