We live in an age of dramatic change. Urbanization and industrialization are growing in both speed and scale. Concurrently, climate change consequences are occurring faster.
Over the next 40 years, as historic urban migration leads to 150 percent more energy being consumed, the world needs to cut carbon dioxide emissions in half to mitigate change. This means we need to rapidly transition to a world at least three times more energy efficient.
At Schneider, we believe the challenges of increased urbanization, industrialization, and climate change can be overcome through innovation. The most important energy trends — digitization, decarbonization, and decentralization — are presenting us with the opportunity to do just that: innovate for the future. But we must be proactive. We must act now. We need to co-create our future.
Digital: the only path to efficiency
The Internet of Things and the digitization of devices are enabling the convergence of IT and OT, which provide new data, automation, and analytics to better manage energy and increase productivity and efficiency. By breaking through silos, digitization gives us the opportunity to optimize the entire generation-to-consumption value chain. Digitization should make our lives and value chains simpler, not more complex. So let’s digitize for more efficiency, for more control, and for more value.
Decarbonization presents perhaps the biggest opportunity for improvement in energy efficiency and sustainability. Studies indicate that 82 percent of cost-effective energy efficiency potential in buildings remains untapped — and in industry, more than 50 percent. When it comes to the energy grid, our experience shows that the demand side has the potential to deliver three times the decarbonization compared to the supply side.
New demand for distributed energy
The adoption of decentralized energy resources is gaining momentum. This is creating opportunities all over the world and across market segments such as solar, microgrids, smart grid, and grid automation. Decentralization will continue to grow as we see the massive cost reduction of renewable energy coupled with storage. As for the energy grid, 57 percent of consumers are already considering becoming power self-sufficient. It’s an exciting new world of prosumers driving the need for microgrids.
The energy future is more electric, more digitized, more decarbonized, and more decentralized. And our technologies enable these trends. With our EcoStruxure solutions, we combine energy technology with automation and software and apply it to four markets — buildings, IT, industry, and infrastructure — which altogether represent 70 percent of the world’s energy consumption.
As we invest in clean energy and connected technologies, we support these markets with the powerful solutions that are needed to create a sustainable future and power the digital economy.
To hear more about how Schneider Electric is providing innovative solutions for the new energy landscape, view my keynote address from our Hong Kong Innovation Summit.