energy management Archives - Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd

Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd Energy Management Summit | Forum Events Ltd

Posts Tagged :

energy management

Avoiding unnecessary climate change corporate conflict

960 640 Guest Post

The fight to prevent climate catastrophe has led enterprises across the globe to continuously navigate new policies, standards, laws, and regulations that are driving significant business change. Yet conflicting strategies continue to undermine progress. One of the fastest and most effective ways to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions is to minimise employee commutes and eradicate business travel – but this can only be achieved if companies provide a truly effective and engaging digital workplace experience for every single employee, insists Dave Page (pictured), Founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Actual Experience…  

Confused Strategies

The continued siloed nature of corporations globally is undermining essential progress in achieving vital change to support climate change goals. Why are so many businesses, for example, pushing employees to come back into the office at least three days each week when that is totally at odds with the need to reduce carbon emissions? Why are companies advocating more face-to-face meetings – often overseas – and attendances at conferences when this escalation in business travel contributes so heavily to a company’s carbon toll?

Add in the carbon emissions associated with offices, including cooling, heating and lighting, and Working from Home (WfH) offers tangible opportunities to reduce the business’ energy consumption – even if it is only by mothballing certain unused areas or floors within a building.

Both investment and reputation hinge increasingly on not only pledges to minimise carbon emissions, but tangible proof of progress toward the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) and regulatory plans to enhance and standardise climate related disclosures for investors. So why are so many businesses still failing to grasp the value of an effective digital working environment to its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy?

Embrace Cultural Change

What is even more confusing is that employees are already on board with this shift in working experience. Individuals may have their own reasons for preferring WfH to the commute or a collaborative video call to the flight to New York, but this is a corporate win: win. There is no need to compel employees to change behaviour in order to achieve a reduction in scope 3 emissions – they have already embraced the Future of Work. Plus, a business able to demonstrate the additional carbon reduction value of this strategy can win serious employee plaudits, especially across a younger generation driven by environmental values.

Rather than fight against the tide, companies should be prioritising the delivery of a high quality digital human experience that accelerates this changing behaviour. And that means investing in a digital workplace that enables every employee to work effectively remotely. It means ensuring the quality of the experience is so powerful, so compelling that employees can confidently replace face-to-face meetings with key overseas clients with a virtual interaction. It means rapidly identifying the experience of each individual to ensure every single employee is consistently engaged and productive.

And that means understanding each employee’s unique individual experience, in detail and continuously, and using that insight to firstly reveal and address any areas of digital inequality and then build on the quality of experience to create an even more compelling digital workplace experience.


A truly effective digital workplace will drive cultural change. It will enable employees to prove the value of remote working to management and, critically, it will provide the ESG team with tangible measures of carbon reduction. With complete insight into employee location, it is simple to track activity and demonstrate change. How often are employees commuting into an office or remote working hub? Are they travelling abroad? Using standard carbon emission numbers associated with commuting and business travel, a company can quickly assess the current situation, measure the impact of digital experience enhancements on employee behaviour and demonstrate improvements year on year.

The carbon emissions associated with individuals commuting daily, compared to those primarily based at home are significant – and the reduction in scope 3 emissions that can be achieved when employees are empowered to make the most of a digital workplace are compelling. So, when will companies recognise the importance of embedding ESG strategic thinking into every aspect of business decision making?

Empowering Energy Management: The Impact of Generative AI in the UK

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The rise of generative artificial intelligence (AI) is reshaping industries, and the energy management sector in the UK stands as a prime beneficiary of this digital revolution. Employing AI to create, simulate, and predict scenarios is promising unprecedented efficiencies and smarter resource utilisation.

Taking a step back to look at energy production, generative AI is used to forecast energy generation based on historical data and real-time factors such as weather patterns, enabling energy providers to optimise production schedules. This is particularly beneficial for renewable energy sources, where production can be highly variable.

AI is also making strides in energy consumption management. Building Management Systems (BMS) can use generative AI to learn from past consumption patterns, weather data, and occupancy rates to predict future energy needs. The BMS can then adjust HVAC, lighting, and other systems in real-time to minimise waste and maximise efficiency.

Generative AI is also bolstering the implementation of demand response programmes. By predicting periods of peak demand, AI enables energy providers to incentivise customers to reduce their usage, thus easing pressure on the grid.

Grid management is another area where generative AI is making a significant impact. AI can generate models that simulate various scenarios, allowing grid operators to prepare for different outcomes. This leads to more reliable service and faster response to outages or disruptions.

Furthermore, generative AI is playing a crucial role in the transition to a decentralised energy model. AI algorithms can optimise the operation of microgrids and virtual power plants, balancing local production and consumption, and ensuring a smooth interplay with the larger grid.

However, the adoption of generative AI in energy management is not without challenges. Issues such as data privacy, algorithmic transparency, and the need for a skilled workforce capable of working with AI need to be addressed. Moreover, the development and deployment of AI systems require significant investment.

Despite these challenges, the potential benefits of generative AI for energy management are immense. By enhancing forecasting, optimising consumption, and enabling smarter grid management, AI holds the promise of a more efficient and resilient energy system.

The energy management sector in the UK is just beginning to harness the power of generative AI. As its capabilities continue to be realised, it is certain to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of energy in the country – a future marked by efficiency, sustainability, and resilience.

As we stand on the cusp of this exciting era, it is clear that generative AI will be at the heart of the energy revolution.

Organisations using licence-exempt energy offered cash boost

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Firms including steelmakers, recycling plants and manufacturers are among the hundreds of businesses that will benefit from a new scheme launched by the government to help with the cost of their energy bills.

Most businesses across the country are receiving money off their energy costs automatically, thanks to an unprecedented support package from the government totalling around £7 billion so far – amounting to over £35 million a day.

However, a selection of companies – including some large chemical plants and those providing critical national infrastructure – require a bespoke support scheme to subsidise energy from a licence-exempt supplier.

Some suppliers can benefit from licence exemptions for various reasons, for example if they operate on a small scale with limited impact on the electricity system. Companies may use a licence-exempt supplier because they are based on a site with a private network or operate directly within the wholesale energy market.

These companies – known as Non-Standard Customers – can now apply for help with their bills from April 2023 to March 2024, similar to the support others will receive under the government’s Energy Bills Discount Scheme (EBDS).

For some, these discounts could amount to thousands of pounds off their energy bills and provide vital help with their cashflow, following the impact of Putin’s illegal war in Ukraine on global energy costs. The move comes as the government continues to deliver on its promise to protect jobs, grow the economy and halve inflation.

Some of these businesses and organisations that use a licence-exempt supplier can also from today apply for backdated support under the Non-Standard Cases Energy Bill Relief Scheme.

Those that get their licence-exempt supply from the public grid were given access to this support from October 2022 to March 2023. The scheme has now been extended to cover the same cohort as the Non-Standard Cases Energy Bills Discount Scheme. This means companies that get a licence-exempt supply from waste, anaerobic digestion and biomass plants will now be able to retrospectively apply for energy discounts to match support others received this winter.

The government is urging companies to check their eligibility on GOV.UK, as both suppliers of licence-exempt energy and their customers can apply for the new schemes via the government website from today. Payments will be made either to the provider to pass on or directly to the customer depending on who made the application.

The new rate of support provided through the Energy Bills Discount Scheme, which launched on 1 April, reflects wholesale energy prices falling to their lowest level since before Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. Higher levels of support are offered to eligible energy and trade intensive industries and heat network operators – with some businesses expected to save 20% of predicted wholesale energy costs.

Director of Policy at the Association for Renewable Energy & Clean Technology (REA) Frank Gordon, said: “The REA welcomes the news that more companies are receiving support through both the EBRS and EBDS non-standard cases scheme. It is encouraging to see more businesses than previously, now be supported under EBDS in the future. In the longer term, businesses can make considerable bill savings by moving to renewable energy supplies, such as by generating their own renewable energy on-site.”

The road to smarter buildings & facilities management with IoT  

960 640 Guest Post

Inflation, energy costs and the cost of living are increasingly causing challenges for businesses and consumers. This is resulting in higher operational costs for organisations to not only manage, but run their facilities – placing pressure on facility managers’ shoulders to operate their sites more cost effectively and productively. In addition, the industry faces labour and skills shortages, which are causing operational challenges for many teams.

That in mind, what should facility managers consider as they strive to cope with these pressures? Moreover, what is the role of people alongside technology in managing facilities during 2023 – especially as buildings become smarter, digital transformation continues to thrive, and IoT becomes affordable? Chris Potts, Marketing Director, ANT Telecom discusses how IoT monitoring can support smarter and more effective facilities management…

The role of people and technology
One of the problems many facilities managers come up against in managing their sites is that they lack the time, resources and information required to do so. With the many sites and the many systems required to keep a building functioning, facilities managers are up against it as they travel from site to site, or from one part of a property to another, to check the status of their facilities.

This often comprises assessing if facilities are safe and secure, and that occupants are happy in the environment that they operate in. Factors that many facilities managers are often checking include room temperatures; whether there is enough good lighting (especially for those that are not near a window); and they are increasingly focusing on ensuring areas are properly ventilated in efforts to ensure that premises do not become too stuffy or difficult to concentrate in, promoting productivity.

So, they are continuously monitoring whether critical systems, such as Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, are in good working condition – as we all know, it can very disruptive on hot or cold days if these systems fail, because they can make conditions difficult to work in. Further, facilities managers face the constant battle of providing people accessing a space an optimum room temperature – one colleague wants a warmer office, another complains that it’s too cold. What is the best way to control this without true knowledge about the state of play?

The challenge here is that facilities managers often do not  have reliable, intelligent data to draw on to help manage room or site temperatures. It’s very difficult to know what the current temperature of a room is unless they’re continually checked, which is very time consuming. It’s also impractical to do this manually on a daily basis, when facilities management teams are already stretched and responsible for multiple sites and systems. However, despite the time and effort required to do this, it’s quite a common process in many industries to monitor HVAC, environments and equipment manually.

Manual processes, ripe for improvement

Take the food and hospitality sector as another example. Staff often manually monitor and record the temperature of fridges/freezers regularly throughout the day to ensure appliances are working correctly and that food remains fresh and good to eat. Similarly, in hospitals, care homes and hotels staff are typically tasked twice weekly to systematically flush all water outlets (e.g. taps and showers) to measure water temperature, and to record all activity to control the risk of legionella growth.

Organisations are also trying to tackle high energy costs by cutting appropriate usage where possible.  This involves turning lights and heating off, in many cases, when staff leave premises; or using high powered equipment only when necessary; or replacing old appliances with more energy efficient models. But, who is responsible for checking that lights are, indeed, off – something normally done manually, and what about the other systems and appliances used?

All these manual, resource intensive processes are ripe for improvement. However, without the ability to measure key parameters across these scenarios, it’s difficult to know if any new procedures or processes implemented will address the issues raised, and if they are working effectively or not.

IoT sensors provide insight centrally

This is where IoT sensors can help. Installed in key locations, they offer site managers the capabilities to monitor equipment and key parts of a particular building, site or facility centrally.  Sensors can be installed in any number of scenarios too these days to automate and monitor all sorts of equipment and conditions such as room temperature, CO2, lighting and energy.

Further, with no cables to worry about, installing a sensor today is easy, as it only takes a few minutes. Batteries within sensors typically last 3- 5 years too, depending on data transmission rates, meaning they require very little maintenance.

Once data has been collected from sensors it is uploaded to a secure online portal where registered users, like facilities managers, can access and review at any time from any PC, Laptop or Smartphone. Thresholds across key metrics can be set to notify key individuals when levels have been breached, and floor plans can be loaded so that facilities managers can visually see where sensors are located. What is more, it is possible to document causes for threshold breaches to discover trends, and generate paperless reports that can be automatically shared with appropriate colleagues or fulfil compliance obligations.

Essentially, this data provides valuable insights, enabling teams to implement measures that improve site operations, monitor equipment or track equipment issues, in efforts to reduce energy, waste and save money.


Today facilities managers are expected to spread themselves across many sites in efforts to improve site operations. This is not physically possible all the time, and is immensely time consuming, resource intensive and impractical in certain occasions.

As the capabilities of the IoT sensor market improves, facilities managers can harness this technology to reduce the burden for themselves, and their respective teams, to automate the checking, monitoring and management of some sites, environments, facilities and equipment. This will enable teams to spend their time on other meaningful tasks more productively.

What is more, since this technology has reached a state of affordability, it can be implemented incrementally in stages, in such a way that allows teams to start with small trial projects, before developing more sophisticated monitoring strategies, with a view to ultimately providing organisations with the much needed knowledge required to improve operations.

Low carbon hydrogen to ‘play defining role’ in energy transition

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The hydrogen market has progressed rapidly in recent years due to its growing application in industries like the transport, industrial, energy, aerospace, defence, and construction sectors. Against this backdrop, low carbon hydrogen is gaining traction as a critical component to achieve energy transition and long-term decarbonisation goals, says a leading analyst.

The global demand for pure hydrogen stood at nearly 74MMT (million metric tons) per year in 2021, of which low carbon hydrogen accounted for a miniscule share of 0.89%. Low carbon hydrogen, including green hydrogen, has generated tremendous interest as a sustainable option to achieve long-term climate goals or net-zero targets.

Srinwanti Kar, Power Analyst at GlobalData, said: “Various countries such as the US, Canada, Germany, Spain, France, Australia, and India have framed hydrogen roadmaps, strategies, mandates, and targets to develop a hydrogen economy in general and low carbon in particular. These plans are focused mainly on scaling up hydrogen production capacity, reducing costs, and bolstering supply chain infrastructure.”

GlobalData’s latest report, “Low-Carbon Hydrogen Market Report, Update 2023 – Global Market Outlook, Trends, and Key Country Analysis,” observes that during 2021-2022, the low carbon hydrogen sector took first big strides as a number of projects were announced as part of the strategy towards energy transition.

Kar continued: “Significant policy support and governments’ commitment to decarbonization is spurring investments in the hydrogen space. The momentum that has been built along the entire value chain is accelerating cost reduction in hydrogen production, retail, and end-applications.”

In November 2022, at COP27, the World Bank Group announced the formation of the Hydrogen for Development Partnership (H4D), a new global project to increase the deployment of low carbon hydrogen in developing countries.

Kar added: “North America leads the market in terms of low carbon hydrogen active production capacity, followed by the Middle East and Africa, Europe, and Asia Pacific. As of February 2023, the global low carbon hydrogen production capacity was 1,698ktpa (Kilo Tonnes Per Annum), which is anticipated to reach 1,11,326ktpa in terms of high case scenario and 66,321ktpa in terms of low case scenario by 2030. Suitable planning at the funding level, constructive regulatory framework, and proper infrastructure may facilitate and accelerate the pace of projects.”


As of February 2023, a total of 152mtpa (Metric Tonnes Per Annum) of the low carbon hydrogen capacity is in the pipeline, of which 1.9mtpa is in construction, 136.7mtpa in feasibility, and 6.4mtpa in front end engineering design (FEED) stage.


Kar concluded: “The cost of low carbon hydrogen production is expected to decrease by up to 60% over the next decade because of the reduction in the cost of renewable electricity. Facilitating regulatory framework and demand visibility by adopting legal measures, accelerating public funding for low carbon hydrogen projects,advancing hydrogen infrastructure development, technological advancements leading to cost reduction, access to finance, and government mandates or targets to support hydrogen adoption are some of the key factors which will drive the growth of low carbon hydrogen market.”

Solar farm to save ‘hundreds of thousands of pounds a year’ off Rochdale council’s energy bills

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Plans for a brand new solar farm in Heywood in Greater Manchester are powering ahead, with the 10 hectare site set to produce enough energy to power 1,700 homes.

The electricity produced will be supplied to the national grid and used to offset the council’s annual energy bill, potentially saving the authority hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.

The project was made possible after Rochdale Borough Council successfully bid for £3.3 million funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The project is being delivered by Vital Energi.

Chamber House is only the second solar farm in the borough, following the installation of one at Rochdale Leisure Centre, which helps to power the facility.

The Chamber House Solar farm will be able to produce 5.5 megawatts of electricity, which will make a significant contribution towards Greater Manchester’s target of increasing renewable energy generation by 45 MW before 2024 across the 10 boroughs.

Liam O’Rourke, cabinet member for climate change and the environment, said: “It’s great to see this vital project heating up. It’s really important for Heywood and the wider borough. All local authorities in Greater Manchester have pledged to become net zero by 2038 and schemes like this show that Rochdale is more than playing its part to help us all reach this important target.

“In addition to helping us to tackle the ongoing climate emergency, this scheme will shave thousands off the authority’s annual energy bill, which is more important than ever, as costs continue to rise.”

The new solar farm, which is expected to be operational during autumn 2023, is one of a number of schemes the council is delivering to help tackle the environmental crisis.

The borough’s 3 largest leisure centres have all had solar panels installed on their roofs, as have a selection of primary schools and other council buildings, including the Green Lane Depot and some council-owned industrial units.

Operations Manager at Vital Energi, David Oatt, said: “This is an ambitious project to create a major new solar farm capable of generating 5.5MW and is a significant step on Rochdale’s net zero journey.  We are delighted to be working in partnership with Rochdale Borough Council on a project which will contribute to a cleaner, greener Greater Manchester as well as drastically reducing the council’s energy bills.”

Europe takes the lead in sustainable growth: Digital Product Passports

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By Elena Rotzokou, Global EPR Researcher, Ecoveritas

The unprecedented number of Extended Producer Responsibility legislation that has been greenlighted since the advent of 2023 across Europe no doubt signals a new level of environmental awareness on a governmental, rather than merely social level.

European legislative bodies have mobilized themselves en masse since March 2022, which is when several proposals aimed at product sustainability saw the light of day, most notably a circular economy business model. All these proposals fall under the ambitious purview of the European Green Deal, first approved in 2020, whose goal is to achieve incremental sustainable growth so that Europe becomes the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. Green Deal legislation has proven most adaptable to the times. In the face of an era of overwhelming environmental catastrophe, which has just been capped with the war in Ukraine, the European Commission has issued a matching response: the European Digital Product Passport (DPP) initiative.

What are digital product passports? As the term implies, each product placed by a business on the EU market will need to carry its individual information passport, access to which will need to be provided via a data carrier to a unique product identifier (UID). The EU aims for a 2026 date by which to implement the legislation across three industries: apparel, batteries, and consumer electronics – with more to follow. Food and pharmaceutical products will be excluded. Through data transparency and accessibility, the product passport initiative seeks to raise awareness and encourage environmentally friendly action across all parties involved in a product’s lifecycle: manufacturers, distributors, and end consumers.

The logistics behind product passport use might seem complicated at first glance but are, in fact, straightforward: all a consumer needs to do is scan the product QR code with their phone to access DPP information. To help businesses understand their role in effectively making those passports a reality, several data specification standards have already been established at this early stage to demystify the process. For example, digital links accessible through a unique product identifier will need to be added to the products themselves rather than outer packaging or tags. Interested parties should be able to access information relating to raw materials, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and recycling options.

Traceability systems are to be in place to enable tracking all procedures leading from raw materials to the finished product. Measures will be taken to implement data collection and combination systems to meet the reporting requirements for the passports. Whoever on the supply chain brings a product to the market will carry the responsibility for guaranteeing DPP data accuracy.

As far as the packaging industry is concerned, a range of data availability requirements are expected pertaining, among other things, to product and product packaging weight and volume, durability, reusability, reparability, the presence of substances inhibiting circularity, energy and resource efficiency, recycled content, remanufacturing, waste generation, resource use, microplastic release, and carbon footprints.

In addition to batteries, apparel, and electronics, there is pressure on more industries to adopt the DPP initiative, such as textiles (especially furniture), plastics, chemicals, construction, and automobile manufacturing. Since the 31st of January and until the 5th of December, the European Commission is conducting consultation on various product categories that will be impacted by this law, such as textiles and footwear, furniture, cosmetics, aluminum, plastic and polymer, paper, and glass.

Legislation pertaining to data accessibility and traceability information has already affected EPR laws for plastics, and so DPPs should be a crowning moment in what is already an unfolding process. If all obligated parties cooperate effectively, digital passports might come to be an inextricable part of products, to the point where, ultimately, all products come to life equipped with passports.

2026 is not far away and further guidelines are expected to start trickling in throughout the coming months to inform obligated businesses of how they should expect to be impacted by DPPs.

About the Author

Elena Rotzokou is Global Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Researcher at Ecoveritas. She joined Ecoveritas immediately after completing a master’s degree in English at the University of Oxford. She has brought the advanced research, writing, and communication skills she honed during her academic studies to Ecoveritas, where she performs research on EPR regulations worldwide, writes reports and blog posts, and facilitates external liaisons with clients. 

Research urges more use of excess heat for energy

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

New data from Danish engineering group Danfoss has highlighted the vast untapped potential of excess heat as a source of energy.

In the EU alone, excess heat amounts to 2,860 TWh/y, corresponding almost to the EU’s total energy demand for heat and hot water in residential and service sector buildings such as schools, hospitals, hotels, restaurants, offices and shopping centers.

A full implementation of technologies that tap into synergies between different sectors and enable a utilization of excess heat has the potential to save EUR 67.4 bn a year once fully implemented in 2050.

Every time an engine runs, it generates heat. Anyone who has felt the warmth behind their fridge can confirm this. The same is true on a larger scale in supermarkets, data centers, factories, wastewater facilities, metro stations and commercial buildings. Excess heat can be reused to supply a factory with heat and warm water or reused by neighboring homes and industries through a district energy system.

Using this energy that would otherwise go to waste can give a productivity boost to the economy and lower energy prices for consumers, says the whitepaper.

Utilizing excess heat can replace significant amounts of fossil fuels that are otherwise needed to produce heat. Used this way, excess heat can help stabilize the future electricity grid and thereby ease the transition to a green energy system.

In some countries the excess heat can even match the entire heat demand. In the Netherlands, excess heat amounts to 156 TWh/y while the heat demand is only 152 TWh/y.

Yet the potential of excess heat is not even close to being utilised and is politically ignored, asserts the whitepaper.

According to Kim Fausing, President & CEO of Danfoss, recycling heat is not only an overlooked measure in the current energy crisis, but also the next frontier of the green transition: “Energy demand is set to grow dramatically in the years to come due to population growth and rising incomes. Without urgent action to tackle the demand side of the green equation, using every single unit of energy more efficiently, we will not get on track to meet global climate goals,” Kim Fausing adds.

The whitepaper, titled ‘The world’s largest untapped energy source: Excess heat’ assesses the potential of excess heat as an efficient energy source. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a global push for more efficient use of energy can reduce CO2 emissions by an additional 5 gigatons per year by 2030 compared with current policy settings. A third of the reduction needed in energy-related CO2 emissions this decade according to the IEA net zero scenario must come from improvements in energy efficiency.

In terms of energy security, these energy savings can help avoid almost 30 million barrels of oil per day and 650 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas per year (around four times what the EU imported from Russia in 2021).

“The potential in reusing excess heat is staggering. But we need to change our perspective on it and begin to consider excess heat as an energy resource instead of waste to be disposed of,” adds Kim Fausing.

“Today there are a number of barriers that prevent us from reusing excess heat including lack of information and regulation. We have to introduce economic incentives, policy measures and prioritization of partnerships between local authorities, energy suppliers and energy sources to help maximize the full potential of excess heat.”

Toby Morgan, Senior Manager, Built Environment, Climate Group, said: “The global energy crisis is a wakeup call to stop wasting energy, and Danfoss is right to call for governments and corporates to seize the enormous potential of excess heat. Now more than ever we need to make better use of the energy we already produce, we simply can’t afford to let it literally escape out the window. Energy efficiency improvements, like capturing and recycling excess heat, are absolutely critical to lower fossil fuel demand and lower bills.”

Energy innovations driving big changes in automotive design

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Energy innovations, technological advances, societal tastes, environmental concerns, and changing emission regulations are prompting the automotive industry to change the way vehicles are designed and built.

Against the backdrop, automakers are gearing up to improve fuel efficiency, control car emissions, offer greater safety benefits, higher customer differentiation, and minimize costs and supply chain risk, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Kiran Raj, Practice Head of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, said: “A growing wave of technology-driven megatrends around ‘connected cars, autonomous driving, shared mobility, and electric vehicles’ (CASE) framework is already creating a shift towards the car of tomorrow. The next three to five years will see a diverse range of innovative headwinds shifting the dimensions of mobility toward new horizons.”

Shagun Sachdeva, Project Manager of Disruptive Tech at GlobalData, added: “The shift in the auto industry is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of technological disruptions in 2023 and beyond. AI, IoT, cybersecurity, big data and robotics, among other technologies, will not only change the future of mobility, but also enable automakers to become more resilient, reliable, scalable, and innovative.”

GlobalData’s FutureTech Series report, “Computer on Wheels – Key Disruptive Forces in Automotive,” highlights over 50 disruptive forces driving tech transformation in the automotive industry as emerging, accelerating, and maturing innovation areas based on their rate of growth in innovation.

Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) networks offer bi-directional charging and enable the transfer of electricity back to the grid. V2G technology is sustainable as it allows batteries to get charged during renewable energy production phases which makes it possible to consume mainly green energy. In December 2022, Toyota Motor North America and Oncor Electric Delivery collaborated to research and demonstrate the benefits of V2G technology.

Gesture sensing AR/VR interfaces provide a hands-free way to interact with the vehicle systems, help drivers with situational awareness by warning them of road hazards and displaying other similar alerts, allowing them to react quickly and avoid accidents. They offer enhanced driving experience, blind-spot visibility, and convenience as well as safety. In May 2022, Volkswagen and Microsoft announced a partnership to create a new moving platform feature for the HoloLens 2, designed to let the augmented reality headset work in places such as moving vehicles.

Plasma-jet ignition replaces traditional spark plugs and allows for a much wider range of fuel mixtures and operating conditions for automakers such as burning extremely lean mixtures at lower temperatures to produce less NOx. In June 2022, Transient Plasma Systems (TPS) demonstrated an ignition module that uses nanosecond pulses of plasma to ignite the air-fuel mixture within the engine’s cylinders.

Graphene batteries are more economical, scalable, sustainable, and allow faster charging as they offer higher electrical conductivity than lithium-ion batteries. In December 2022, NASA announced that it is testing a new graphene battery with an improved power density that can be used in aviation and EVs.

Sachdeva concluded: “While automakers remain focused on addressing the critical challenges right from pandemic-driven shortages, supply chain bottlenecks to rising commodity prices and uncertain consumer demand, the automotive industry is witnessing a rebound.

“However, in the face of global geopolitical instability, record-high inflation, rising commodity costs, massive lay-offs, the looming fear of potential recession, automakers will need to reassess their strategy to address shortages such as semiconductors, retool their offerings and realign their business models to remain stable in the rapidly evolving mobility ecosystem.”

IT service providers actively targeting ESG opportunities

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

IT services providers that are expanding their portfolios to target environmental, social and governance (ESG) opportunities are making a wise move as many enterprises require assistance developing and implementing ESG-related initiatives, says GlobalData.

The leading data and analytics company notes that these companies must continue to adapt to shifting market dynamics to stay ahead of the curve.

According to a recent GlobalData survey, 34% of respondents indicate that their company has made adjustments to its ESG initiatives in the last 12 months.

Rena Bhattacharyya, Service Director for Enterprise Technology and Services at GlobalData, said: “For the most part, IT service providers are focusing on the environmental aspect of ESG by offering services and solutions related to sustainability such as carbon emissions assessments and advice on methods for reducing carbon footprints.

“Additionally, providers are helping customers implement circularity with strategies targeting reuse, reduce, and recycle initiatives. IT services providers are also embedding the sustainability conversation into the sale of complementary solutions, such as procurement and supply chain-related products, or smart city and fleet management solutions.”

GlobalData’s latest reports, ‘IT Services Providers Build Portfolios to Monetize ESG (part 1)’ and, ‘IT Services Providers Build Portfolios to Monetize ESG (part 2)’, found that IT services providers are developing sustainability portfolios to help customers with ESG-related initiatives, but not all are equally well-positioned in this emerging area. Many focus primarily on sustainability, but the most forward looking are offering best practices related to inclusivity.

Providers utilize a variety of strategies to expand their portfolios, ranging from acquisitions and partnerships to development of new services and solutions, and re-packing of existing tools. For example, IT services providers, including Accenture, Atos, and IBM acquired niche players that focus on emissions consulting or data analytics services.

Bhattacharyya added: “Not surprisingly, given the importance of sustainability in Europe, acquisition targets tend to be based in that region. However, the competitive landscape is evolving quickly with repositioning of players likely as acquisitions continue and as small ESG-focused boutique consultancies continue to carve a niche for themselves in the market.”

Most IT services providers offer little in the way of guidance to customers when it comes to the social and governance aspect of ESG. However, this lack of focus on social and governance-related offerings may change as ethical issues, particularly with respect to data management and privacy, cloud sovereignty, artificial intelligence, and the metaverse, become increasingly top of mind amongst organizations, and regulatory requirements evolve and mature, especially for emerging technologies.”

Bhattacharyya concluded: “Looking ahead, IT services players will need to embed sustainability elements in all business operations and not as a separate workstream.

“Although environmental sustainability is receiving a large amount of focus at present, other aspects of ESG will become increasingly top of mind. Issues related to data privacy, ethics, bias, and Responsible AI will continue to grow in importance and organizations will need help responding to these governance-related issues.”