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Gearing Up for Digitization in the German Energy Sector

Although it is common in several industries to perceive digitization as a threat, it does not hold true for the energy sector. Energy industry experts believe that digitalization could prove key in addressing several pressing challenges in Germany’s energy sector. In Germany, power consumption is poised to increase due to the electrification of transport, heating, and the rise in industrial processes. Furthermore, the share of renewable energy derived is also on the rise. Even if energy efficiency grows in Germany’s energy sector, the demand for electrical power is expected to grow. Moreover, Additionally, Germany will have to electrify more industrial processes to ensure that the country’s ambitious targets to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases are met. This could considerably increase the demand for power in the region.

Consequently, this results in the power supply become highly volatile in the region and making it challenging to manage and balance the power system. Experts at Infiniti Research believe that digitization can act as a catalyst to combat such challenges and prepare the German energy sector for the future.

With energy-efficiency standards in Europe set higher than in several other regions, European energy sector companies are in a strong position to make large energy-cost savings and innovate lucrative new markets in energy-efficient technologies and services, attracting worldwide demand. Request a free proposal to know how we can help your business capitalize on the right opportunities.

energy sectorHandle growing complexity

The way power is produced and distributed is largely changing. Although renewable energy is an effective way to produce energy, they cause increasing volatility and complexity. Also, there is an increase in the number of players at both ends of the power line. Using digital platforms, the energy sector can handle these complexities and promote new forms of collaborations and encourage better trading relations.

Matching demand and supply

Power consumption is commonly a linear process. However, this pattern is set to change with smart power-consuming devices. Smart power consumption devices are constantly connected and leverage the internet in order to transmit information end-to-end. The information available can make smart devices to enhance their performance by optimizing their own consumption. This helps balances the overall power load.

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Managing surplus power

The ongoing decentralization of power generation in the energy sector will result in surplus power being generated. This energy must be put to immediate use or must be stored. The growing surpluses can be handled by creating heat, producing synthesized heat, storing in batteries, using smart consumption to match peaks in supply, or through smart distribution that can be enabled through digital platforms.

Complexities in the energy sector hurting your profits. Get in touch with an expert and learn how we can help you combat your key business challenges.

clean energy

Five Clean Energy Trends that Could Transform the Energy Sector in 2020

The recent breakthroughs in natural-gas extraction is a classic example of the sheer speed with which game-changing technologies are transforming the energy industry. With rising environmental concerns and clean energy becoming a necessity than ever before, we can expect to see several groundbreaking clean energy trends over the next couple of years. This article describes some of the key clean energy trends that could revolutionize the energy sector. While not all of these clean energy trends may succeed in the long-run, even if a few of them pan out they could bring considerable changes to the energy landscape. Furthermore, it is also possible that the development of energy technologies is approaching a tipping point that will generate increases in energy productivity on a scale not seen since the Industrial Revolution.

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Clean energy trends 2020

clean energyDigital power conversion

Large-scale high voltage transformers that were developed in the 1880s lead to the widespread development of the electrical grid, virtually the same technology continues to be used today. High-speed digital switches that are composed of silicon carbide and gallium nitride have been developed for high-frequency power management in military jets to high-speed rail. They are known to be highly energy-efficient and take up only about 1 percent as much space and are more reliable and flexible than the existing transformers. Today’s advanced applications include consumer electronics and variable-speed industrial drives for manufacturing. As such applications expand and the major semiconductor manufacturers begin to produce these technologies at scale, they could replace conventional transformers in the utility industry by 2020. China is particularly well positioned to reap the benefits of adopting digital-power electronics because of the scale of its planned grid expansion.

Blockchain networks

Blockchain technology would enable the buy and sell of clean energy at optimal times and will largely be driven by IoT and related technologies. This can play an integral role in boosting the performance of energy saving devices. This is a type of peer to peer network that effectively allows customers to trade energy. This may be done through the energy company itself, or even from customer to customer. Either way, this means that the majority of firms will need to capitalize on this emerging market. This can all be done in real-time settings and with the transparency that the blockchain network provides may prove to be beneficial to both businesses and their customers.

Leaders of companies and countries who neglect what is happening on the margins today risk being pushed to the margins themselves in the not-too-distant future.

Clean coal

Such clean energy trends could help coal-fired generators to capture majority of their carbon-di-oxide at a much lesser cost. The viability of this technology could also prevent the closure of several coal plants in the coming years. The same is applicable to plants situated even in China and Europe. However, this cannot be made a reality and be expanded at scale without supportive carbon regulations.

It may prove challenging for energy industry companies to rapidly changeover to clean energy sources, and to ensure successful transition organizations must be prepared to beat the hurdles. Get in touch with our experts to know how we can help you overcome major roadblocks in the energy sector.

Biofuels and electro fuels

With crude-oil prices skyrocketing, market shares for biofuels such as cane and corn ethanol are rising rapidly. Although second-generation cellulosic biofuels have proved harder to make than many had hoped five years ago, innovative start-ups focused on cellulosic and algae-based biofuels are starting to create high-margin specialty chemicals and blendstocks, generating cash now and suggesting a pathway to deliver biofuels at much cheaper rates in the next couple of years. Furthermore, biopharmaceutical researchers are developing electro fuel pathways that feed carbon dioxide, water, and energy to enzymes to create long-chain carbon molecules that function like fossil fuels at one-tenth the cost of current biofuels.

Learn more about Infiniti’s solutions for the energy industry.

Top 4 Benefits of Competitor Analysis That Can Help Energy Sector Companies to Flourish

The US energy sector is facing unprecedented challenges like unpredictable government policies and regulations, growing competition, the aging workforce, modernizing grid infrastructure, and cyber-attacks. The target and policy measures agreed by the governments of many countries to reduce CHG emissions are exerting pressure to move away from fossil fuels consumption. This is resulting in an immense increase in the competition among the companies, especially in the US energy sector, and new research unveils that this competition is going to be even fierce in the years to come.

Increasing competition demands for more efficiency. It can become a roadblock for the entry of new players in the market. Additionally, it can also hinder the growth of a company if it is not able to analyze the competitors’ strategy. Therefore, the companies need to have a proper competitor analysis framework in place to gain actionable insights on current market position, end-consumers, and key competitors, and the credibility of their partners and associates.

At Infiniti Research, we understand the pain that companies in the energy sector face in the process of competitor analysis and competitor profiling.  So, to help companies identify and profile the competitors in the target market while evaluating their strategies to determine the strengths and weakness of the services rendered, our team of experts has listed four crucial benefits that competitor analysis offers in the energy sector.

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Benefits of Competitor Analysis for Companies in the Energy Sector

#1: Competitor analysis guide inaccurate forecasting of competitors’ move

Competitor analysis help companies to analyze and assess the next move of their competitors, which helps in better brand positioning. It helps companies in the energy sector to:

  • Find new markets to enter or increase the presence
  • Predict competitors’ actions
  • Improve product development
  • Beat competitors to market
  • Improve and personalize consumer interaction
  • Give consumers what they want and increase market share
  • Find new products and tech that will disrupt the competitive landscape
  • Identify political or legislative issues
  • Stand out from the crowd with a distinct corporate identity and tone of voice

(more…)

What Fresh Challenges Await the Energy Sector in 2018?

The energy sector around the world is facing unprecedented challenges from rapidly changing market demands. To survive the pressure, they must adapt to technological advances such as intermittent renewable power generation, rooftop solar panels, behind the meter storage, as well as an increase in customer expectations. This new market context is unpredictable, and embracing it requires an overhaul of utilities’ operating and business models. Furthermore, new technologies ranging from smart meters to rooftop solar and energy storage —and the problems they bring— have the potential to disrupt the utilities sector. After remaining relatively unchanged for the last century, the grid is facing a host of new challenges that are evolving the business models in the utilities sector, changing consumer expectations and causing regulatory models to adapt. Here are some key challenges that we feel will impact the energy sector this year:Request Proposal

Government policy and regulation

There is a great deal of uncertainty when it comes to regulations in the energy sector. It is generally difficult at an institutional level to set regulations that provide visibility over several decades. At the same time, the stability and predictability of market regulations over long periods depend in large part on how costs to society are kept in check. If these costs are more efficiently managed, the risk of reversals in public policy increases considerably.

Aging workforce

One of the most significant challenges facing the energy sector today is the aging workforce coupled with a decline in available talent. As per estimates, 50% of the workforce in the utilities sector in the US will retire in the next 10 years. Many utilities require additional support to work on new capital projects, and those projects are increasingly complex. This need is particularly acute with engineering and design, where the talent supply is greatly diminished. At the present rate, the gap in finding appropriate replacements is expected to increase in the coming years.

Modernizing grid infrastructure

As far as the utilities sector is concerned, a modernized grid means better security, reduced peak loads, increased integration of renewables, and lower operational costs. The goal is to use technologies, equipment, and controls that communicate and work together to deliver electricity more reliably and efficiently. Consumers will also benefit from the reduction in the frequency and duration of power outages, reduced impact from storms and have service restored more quickly when outages occur. In addition, with easy access to their usage data, consumers can better manage their own energy consumption and costs. Though the ‘smart-meter’ is expected to make it big in the years to the come, companies in the energy sector will face stiff competition from Amazon Alexa, Google and others. This should serve as a wake-up call for utilities to be agile, flexible, and operationally sound. 

Cyber attacks

Digital disruptions are undoubtedly creating new opportunities in the energy sector. However, they also come with their fair share of threats. On one hand, technology is instrumental in realizing intelligent grids and interconnected assets; on the other hand, it introduces new threats such as the possibility of cyber attacks. The developing interconnectivity and proximity of energy systems mean that conflicts can have ripple effects on energy markets and prices. New technologies, such as batteries and grid-embedded generation, are making the cybersecurity of grid systems more vulnerable. With most companies being highly inexperienced in handling large-scale cyber attacks, there are higher chances of future wars and attacks to have a larger cyber component.


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