As the European Commission points out, digital technologies are a pillar of the green transformation. They are crucial for the EU to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, which is the main objective of the European Green Deal. According to estimates cited by the European Commission, digital technologies have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by up to 15% during this period.
– Advanced technologies support the development of green energy, for example by providing us with weather forecasting systems or machine learning systems that increase the efficiency of renewable energy sources – says Mariusz Bednarski, President of Vast Energy and expert of the Polish Chamber of Energy Clusters. – We can already double the cost of producing green energy from renewable energy sources through the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning, for example for weather forecasting.
Cleantech for Europe experts indicate that the development of technological innovations can quickly ensure Europe’s independence from Russian raw materials. These are solutions, among others in areas such as the electrification of transport, the acceleration of the use of green hydrogen, the increase in energy efficiency and the storage of energy. Their use can be an important part of the EU’s REPowerEU strategy, which was adopted in March this year. in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine, which has undermined cooperation in the energy field.
Solutions such as artificial intelligence, 5G, cloud, edge computing or the Internet of Things can help, among other things, to optimize the operation of the electricity network, ensure the cybersecurity of the electricity system and contribute to the reduction unit consumption of energy and other resources, for example water, which was discussed at the Economic Congress in Katowice, among others by experts from companies such as Huawei, Vast Energy, OVHcloud and ABB.
These innovations are today the main driving force behind the development of the energy sector, enabling energy companies to increase their competitiveness, obtain additional sources of income, optimize costs and improve the quality of products and services. They apply to the entire value chain – from the extraction of raw materials to the management of energy consumption through production, transport, distribution and sale. This is why many market players attach great importance to it. An example can be, among others Tauron, which only in 2020 obtained five patents for new solutions, such as innovative methods for capturing the compound of sulfur and carbon dioxide. Nevertheless, as the expert from the Polish Chamber of Energy Clusters points out, Poland is still far from being a leader in the use of innovation and digital technologies for green transformation.
– We are efficient in terms of automating processes in industry, particularly in export, because we have imposed certain rules of the game there, which we must adhere to. For large manufacturers, this digitalization is progressing very quickly, but this is a group of leaders. However, behind this we have a large number of energy efficiency challenges or a ticking time bomb in the form of coal-fired thermal and power plants, which we have to rebuild. We will not do this effectively without digitalization, which reduces the costs of energy transformation, says Mariusz Bednarski.
Green transformation is a serious challenge not only for the energy sector and industry, but also for local governments. In its implementation, digital technologies are of colossal importance, especially in the field of energy efficiency, which are part of the smart city concept. However, Polish cities still have problems with their implementation.
– The smart city is a concept known in Poland for many years, but implemented in a chaotic and uncoordinated way. For example, many cities in Poland have already implemented ITS, ie an intelligent traffic management system that allows priority to be given to buses or trams. On the other hand, there are areas in cities where this digitization does not exist at all. As users of energy, we still cannot see the real-time cost of that energy. So there is still a long way to go before a smart city, but there is hope that the technology will reach every inhabitant, cities and towns alike, says the chairman of Vast Energy.
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Progressive digitalization also gives end users the tools to optimize energy consumption. For example, smart meters with remote energy reading help consumers monitor, manage and save their electricity consumption. In Poland, according to the amended energy law, these smart meters by the end of 2028 must be installed in at least 80%. energy end users.