A couple of decades ago, there was a time when relays were widely used in the manufacturing industry for controlling and sequencing operations. However, with the development of computer technology and increased processing power of controllers, the automotive industry started replacing relays with more advanced Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs).
It took very little time for that transition to take place, although it was a paradigm shift from mechanical to electrical control systems. Fast forward to two-three years ago, industries are witnessing technologies such as big data, industrial Internet of Things, edge computing and more. These technologies, in essence, are acting as key enablers for changing the way people are looking at the Industry Energy Efficiency as they advance further in data analytics.
This change is further getting the industry excited as they now found the narrative getting shifted from “equipment” to “process.”
It is also considered that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to take place and this time cyber physical systems will catalyse this latest transition. Connected systems will generate a huge amount of data which will then be analysed using processing engines and insights will be shown on dedicated platforms.
In line with this, Kolkata-based EnergyTech Ventures has recently announced to host an Energy Data Analytics Summit in India. EnergyTech Ventures is a joint venture between E-Cube Energy and Indus Net Technologies, a leading digital service provider. The Kolkata-based energy data analytics solutions provider is targeting SMEs and large enterprises for effective utilisation of energy resources.
The EDA Summit aims to bring multiple stakeholders of the energy efficiency and energy analytics markets together to ideate, discuss and promote ways for wider adoption of data analytics and technology in fostering energy productivity across industries and SMEs.
So, Why Do We Require EDA Strategy Now?
One can clearly foresee how this transition will change the way Industries are managing their energy performance. There are startups like Zenatix, Ecolibrium Energy, Afero, Heapsylon, K4Connect and Greenbird, which are providing energy management products.
As shared by Sumit Nawathe, India sales, Enterprise Solutions at EnergyTech Ventures, “EnergyTech Venture takes an interesting top of the value chain approach by creating process-driven IPs for the industries and complement other technology providers in IoT, Industry 4.0 space. Our sector-specific algorithms and tools help industries/businesses leverage IoT and big data technology to extract more value out of their data assets, enabling them to advance energy efficiency and energy productivity improvement.”
Unlike other long-term strategies linked to business financials, working capital costs, human resources and more, the industries now need to focus on their energy performance as well.
To understand what will encourage them to invest their hard-earned money into building an Energy Data Analytics (EDA) strategy, let’s have a look at a few use cases.
Increasing Operational Efficiency Of The Industry
Energy performance in industries is still being managed in silos and there is very little coordination between different departments. For example – energy consumption data, process data and production data, are handled by different departments and depending on the point of view, they tell a different story.
However, when the overall objective of the company is to improve resource productivity, then there is a risk of this objective getting lost if the different departments do not have a unified approach.
A unified Energy Data Analytics or EDA strategy can, hence, be an enabler to bring data from different sources to a single location to get a comprehensive picture.
Large scale organisations are investing big on cutting-edge technologies; may it be for data acquisition and processing, or automation. This will encourage them to come up with the proper strategy to manage their operations well.
Social And Economic Benefits
Influential businesses carry social and environmental responsibilities, so as to maintain investors’ confidence and transparency in operations. Such companies set up long-term goals to prove their commitment towards environmental causes.
More than 200 of the world’s biggest companies have accepted to set science-based targets and the RE100 initiative just crossed the 100 member milestone. They are committed to shifting to 100% renewable energy. Next, the EP100 initiative has started to attract big players to commit on doubling their Energy Productivity in a pre-decided time period.
The involvement of such firms in this initiative will accelerate the adoption of standardised reporting and regular operational assessments to align their strategy and execution.
A few other use cases also demonstrate the importance of energy analytics. This includes:
Utilisation Of Data Assets
Industries/businesses end up investing in data acquisition systems in phases and in quite a few cases they are ad-hoc decisions resulting in partial utilisation of data assets. Implementing an EDA strategy can help derive maximum value of data.
Process industries with multiple products often have to end up working on estimates for budgeting energy, compliance costs etc. EDA strategy can help in forecasting energy consumption profile for each product and hence budget costs in a more scientific data driven method.
Invariably all businesses are seeing surge in data assets (energy, production, resource) and it takes a lot of time for teams to process the data, convert into actionable insights and by the time you have the insight it might not be relevant. Sector-specific algorithms processing raw data from multiple sources can help automate reporting process in a way that is faster, better and cheaper.
Businesses with multiple manufacturing locations often struggle with benchmarking of energy performance indicators, normalisation tools allow businesses to generate benchmarks, streamline targets and standardise consumption patterns.
M&V is essentially the most important component in the entire energy efficiency investment value chain. With a sound EDA strategy, businesses can automate the M&V process, track investment returns and do course correction as and when needed.
Understanding operational data well is going to be the key to understand the operational behaviour. Going forward we see businesses developing internal IPs on processes driven by the fact that they would like to outperform their peers in areas like energy/resource productivity. That is possible only when you have a sound EDA strategy in place.
Umesh Bhutoria, founder and CEO of EnergyTech Ventures further added, “At the EDA Summit, we will be discussing these above-mentioned topics and will try to understand how adopting an EDA Strategy will increase operation efficiencies and bring about social & economical benefits through business model innovation, for the entire industrial outlook as a whole.”
The industry stalwarts, energy efficiency experts, policy makers, think tanks, government agencies, startups and other dignitaries present at the summit will voice their opinion and advise the audience on the finer points of Energy Data Analytics. The summit is scheduled to be held on September 8, 2017 in Delhi.