Technology Record - Issue 33: Summer 2024

76 VIEWPOINT Now the world is working towards net zero, plants and grid operators are juggling renewables and conventional energy under increasingly dynamic and challenging conditions. While this shift represents a positive and essential move towards meeting the Paris Climate Agreement goals, the energy transition calls for new pathways to producing, transporting and consuming clean energy. Currently, renewables such as wind and solar can only produce power intermittently, and the industry needs to get better at moving power to the places where renewable energy resources aren’t available. The rise of electric vehicles is bringing further challenges – energy demand is becoming increasingly unpredictable. How can grid operators ensure that just the right amount of power is put onto the grid at the right time and in the right place? In response, power companies are leveraging today’s big technologies – such as artificial intelligence, analytics, augmented reality, machine learning and the cloud – to help optimise load balancing, increase reliability, reduce power wastage and identify opportunities for energy conservation. AVEVA’s technologies can add exponential value to the modern grid ecosystem. A digital twin of the smart grid network can serve as the virtual representation of its physical and digital components (generation, transmission, distribution, consumer and distributed energy resources assets), so that stakeholders are able to analyse, predict and react to operation events dynamically. As the physical grid becomes less centralised and comprises multiple power sources, flexibility and visibility are critical. Therefore, today’s grid infrastructure requires rock-solid reliability, resilience and foresight to perform at its best. All of this can only be made possible with a robust data infrastructure, serving as the bedrock for advanced analyses. In addition, adopting an infrastructure-oriented approach to operational technology is critical to building a strong data foundation. Rock solid data infrastructure for grids This industrial future will not be founded simply on cloud, edge or on-premises; it will be enabled by flexible architecture that has the ability to support any use case at any point across the enterprise. A robust data infrastructure enables trusted, organised and enriched industrial data to be leveraged 24/7 for critical operations, as well as the real-time data collection from sensors, industrial internet of things devices and remote assets. It also allows scalable data services for a wider array of users, tools and applications. HARPREET GULATI: AVEVA Power providers must develop flexible, scalable and secure data platforms and capitalise on technologies like AI and advanced analytics to meet demand while driving the transition to clean energy Why energy firms need robust data infrastructures