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Imagining Tomorrow

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A perfect storm has been brewing for the Power, Utilities and Renewables sector.

Existing challenges and trends are now intersecting with the challenges arising during COVID.

These themes will be explored in Deloitte’s Imagining Tomorrow webinar series in the coming months, the first focusing on data and analytics, as businesses seek to not just recover from the impact of COVID but to thrive.

Technology, Strategy and Transformation Partner Cam Curtis said the sector remains at the vortex of change blowing in on a number of fronts.

“We are seeing proactive consumers driving change, smart energy and water technology, local and distributed energy system models, renewable energy solutions and evolving regulatory frameworks reshaping the sector as competitive market dynamics drive and disrupt the future energy state,” Cam says.

“Using data to make much more informed decisions in an agile way, to respond and change direction quickly amid the pace of disruption as the transition to future energy remains crucial.”

The opportunity to monetise data as insights into services is there for distributors and retailers alike.

“There is opportunity to harness the value from a wave of data that continues to come into organisations like a tsunami,” Cam says.

Predictive modelling, forecasting, simulations and moving the physical data creates an opportunity to allow for more of a representation of real assets.

The diversification of energy sources and the penetration of renewables is creating an increasing focus on the Trinity of reliability, affordability and security of supply.

Looking ahead regulatory reform will mean policy and regulation evolving to move from fossil fuels to renewables and batteries, demand response, distributed generation and smarter demand response technology.

As these fronts collide, the constant is that data collection will continue to increase and will drive future investment.

Digital transformation through automation, digitalisation and grid modernisation will drive technological change on a massive scale.

Deloitte Australia Enterprise Information Partner Jahanzeb Azim says one of the key aspects of mapping data sets for the energy industry is the need for agility.

“In the rapidly changing energy landscape, data driven insights are critical to drive value, embed efficiencies and deliver a market disrupting offering,” Jahanzeb says.

The key elements to enrich the data is about the quality of the data, being able to apply an information and government lens, inject subject matter expertise and agility.

Jemena Digital & Analytics General Manager Phil Duncanson joined the webinar to share his experience of working with Deloitte to bring analytics to the surface and inform decision making throughout his organisation.

Phil’s task was to share his digital ambition and embed that at an enterprise level. 

Phil’s approach was to establish a way forward with the confidence of flexibility to be able to find an affordable narrow path and add to it as he went, lowering the risk exposure for the company.

Deloitte Data Modernisation Partner Carlos Aggio said in the power sector there is no tolerance for increased risk.

“That’s why digital technology and advanced analytics are at the core of energy,” he says.

A recent survey of Deloitte clients showed energy transition will likely be a priority in the longer term.

“Enhanced insight driven asset management and risk-based asset management strategy powered by digital and data at its core will play a pivotal role in helping produce and distribute Australia’s energy of the future,” Carlos says.

“More importantly these digital solutions will reduce the operational risk of critical network assets and increase returns through lower operating end costs.”

Bringing together multiple data sources combined with advanced simulations and modelling is a challenge for many companies.

AusNet Services ICT Delivery Enablement Manager Richard Dumont shared his experience at the webinar.

He said AusNet engaged with Deloitte at a critical pivot point in its digital journey, partnering to create a world class information management system after some failures and increasing scepticism about its value.

“You really have to focus on the mindset of your stakeholders. We focused on the customer outcomes and we made it happen,” Richard says.

The shift was driven by survival and relevance, with costly legacy systems and ageing infrastructure a reality. 

“It’s not a nice to have, it’s a must.”

Richard said there has to be an appetite for measured risk and this was managed with a staged approach, looking at centralised data and data quality.

The Imagining Tomorrow Series will continue to explore key trends and challenges for the Power, Utilities and Renewables sector in the months ahead.