Digital transformation has immense potential to unlock $1.3 trillion of value for the electricity sector, said the World Economic Forum (WEF) yesterday as promoted a report on the topic it released in January. The electric industry is ripe for realizing value from rapid digital transformation and WEF estimated $1.3 trillion could be spent globally from 2016-2025.
The whitepaper was part of an effort to reveal the potential value in digitizing multiple large industries globally, the group said. WEF is committed to improving the state of the world by engaging political, business and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas, its website said.
Electric industry initiatives are worth over $100 billion over the next 10 years and should be prioritized for investment, the group said. By using the building blocks of digitization, such as service platforms, smart devices, the "cloud" and advanced analytics, companies in the industry have the opportunity to increase the asset lifecycle of infrastructure, optimize electricity network flows and innovate with customer-centric products, it added.
New pools of value could also be tapped "beyond the electron" by harnessing big data across sectors. Yet the maturity of digital initiatives in the industry is varied – from projects using advanced analytics to optimize assets and the widespread implementation of smart meters, to early moves by some utilities to manage and integrate DG resources, the group said.
Industry players agree on the need to make deeper customer engagement a priority, and the pivotal role of digital technologies in making this a reality, WEF said. Energy technology providers are playing a key role in digitizing the industry, releasing a suite of smart turbines and panels – and sensors for commercial infrastructure, it added.
Connectivity platforms for C&I and retail customers are being developed, too. Established players and startups are experimenting on the fringes of the industry and the burgeoning home energy market is a case in point, with over 100 non-utility actors capturing value, WEF said.
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