Following the increasing focus on sustainability observed across ASEAN energy companies which are pivoting and striving to ensure sustainability and reduce carbon emissions, the panel delved into sustainable energy and power for ASEAN, with a focus on strategies for changes in the energy industry, facing the sustainability trials, and creating a support system with data.
Strategies for change in the energy industry
Drawing on challenges faced by the energy industry in ensuring affordability, reliability and sustainability, Zainal Arifin, EVP Engineering & Technology, Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) shared how the Indonesia smart grid roadmap will first focus on reliability, efficiency, customer experience and grid productivity from 2021-2025, afterwhich focus areas will include resilience, customer engagement and sustainability. Similarly, Sansubari, Acting Head – Asset Management, Distribution Network Division, Tenaga Nasional Berhad, raised the need for a clear technology roadmap in order to prioritise their investments and plan their transition accordingly.
Sansubari also highlighted the importance of balancing industrial requirements for the shift towards renewable energy with capital expenditure. He mentioned that technology investments must be commensurate with the rate of introduction for renewable energy into TNB’s distribution network (in terms of penetration and distribution levels).
In determining transformation and digitalisation needs, Satish Allampalli, Director, Industrial IoT, Advantech, brought up the need for alignment across different levels of an organisation – between the employees on-site and operating the systems and equipment, and the executives in charge of decision-making.
In the face of sustainability trials (environmental, and not)
In a time where energy transition is gaining much attention, and energy companies are heavily scrutinised by environmental watchdogs, Mansoor Shaikh, Senior Energy and Materials Industry Expert, Dassault Systèmes, brought up the challenge faced in optimising production cycles, extending asset lifecycle and green energy procurement.
Both Luis Gonzalez, Chief Data Officer, Aboitiz Power Corporation, and Sansubari mentioned how SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) supported decision making. As an independent power producer, Luis brought up how there has been a lot more conversations around the consequences of sustainability at Aboitiz Power Corporation. With 23% of their energy sources being renewables, sustainability also involves understanding the Filipino energy market where prices are some of the highest in the region. He believes in applying root cause analysis which involves predicting future developments, and eventually being able to prescribe developments.
Creating a support system with data
Vikas Vadher, Strategic Customer Success Manager, Talend, brought up the 5 ‘A’s to be addressed in data-driven organisations – adaptability in integrating data sources, agility required to scale and adapt to data volume fluctuations, access to necessary and authorised data, analytics to make sense of and capitalise on data, and assurance that data is secure, usage is regulated and privacy needs are met.
More importantly, for Luis at Aboitiz Power, data should be contextualised with various events. In making use of UnionBank’s data science capability to empower Aboitiz Power’s operations, Luis stated that event-based architecture is the way to go, especially since a centralised data lake for power would be too expensive and difficult to execute.
In addition, Sansubari highlighted the challenge faced in data capture for big ticket assets in the energy industry to support asset maintenance – perhaps sensors and IoT will support this with close-to-real-time data.
At the end of the day, planning out for innovation and change will require an understanding of the problems faced, and adaptation of solutions that delivers value to the business, to pave the way forward in digital transformation.
With this, we conclude the second focus group of our series for AIBP Insights: Future-proofed Public Services. You may move down the value chain to explore electrification and future mobility, and stay tuned for updates from Equipping the Future-ready Citizen, and Enabling the Digital Makers of ASEAN’s Digital Economy.
Visit https://iotbusiness-platform.com/ for latest updates on activities and resources ASEAN’s digitalisation landscape.
21 April 2022