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Powering the Digital Economy

“The power industry is facing unprecedented change. By 2025, traditional centralised models will be complemented by a world of distributed energy, disrupting existing business models.”

This is the view of Taru Madangombe, Vice President Energy Business Schneider Electric Southern Africa, who will be addressing delegates at the Sub Saharan Africa Power Summit in Cape Town from 17 to 19 October 2018.

His address will include the trends in the energy revolution (4th Industrial revolution – 4IR) and case studies that indicate how successfully smart grid applications can save money and improve customer satisfaction.

“Tomorrow’s grid is integrating a multitude of distributed energy resources (DER), such as distribution generation (DG), storage and flexible loads, and disrupting utility generation through new power grid designs that incorporate national /Interconnections-regional, intermediate Microgrids (municipal, regional) and prosumers in the mix.

“These unprecedented changes bring increasing complexity and challenges ahead on DER integration, customers that are more active, operational efficiency demands and digital transformation.”

According to a McKinsey research report, the world is going to see a 48% increase in electricity demand in 2040, compared to 2020 and a 10 times increase in connected devices. The demand for decarbonised fuels will see 86% of investments in power generation until 2040 be in zero-carbon fuels; of which 71% will be in wind, solar and hydro. Power will become more decentralise, with 12% of generating capacity from DG in 2025 including 65% of DG investments will be distributed to solar PV.

“The disruption has started. Our digitised grid operations enable utilities to generate and protect revenue, secure optimal service levels and reduce costs.

“Open IoT-enabled frameworks for digital transformation of distribution utilities enables them to provide optimised asset maintenance as well as investment strategies and it ensures reliable, efficient and safe grid operations,”continues Madangombe.

“Digital transformation does more than this, it also maximises safety, security and network reliability and optimises network efficiency.

“We have some exceptional case studies that demonstrate how to reduce grid losses for efficient grid management, the advantages of a self-immune grid that offers to shrink the impact of severe weather events, with real-time information, fast automation and integrated outage response. Others include an over 300 MW demand reduction to avoid load shedding, energy savings of 4% - representing 144 GWh energy annually - and revenues protected by providing data integrity for 750 000 end points.

“I look forward to meeting with colleagues and customers from across Africa, as we collectively deal with this year’s powerful theme, ‘Alleviating power challenges in Southern Africa through innovative investments, technologies and solutions’,” concludes Madangombe.

About Schneider Electric
Schneider Electric is leading the digital transformation of energy management and automation in homes, buildings, data centres, infrastructure and industries. With global presence in over 100 countries, Schneider is the undisputable leader in power management – medium voltage, low voltage and secure power, and in automation systems. We provide integrated efficiency solutions, combining energy, automation and software. In our global ecosystem, we collaborate with the largest partner, integrator and developer community on our open platform to deliver real-time control and operational efficiency. We believe that great people and partners make Schneider a great company and that our commitment to innovation, diversity and sustainability ensures that Life Is On everywhere, for everyone and at every moment.

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