21.11.2017 | How Axpo is shaping the energy future
Artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, smart and networked. Digital technologies are shaping daily life and sustainably changing society - a development that has become a mega-trend since the advent of smart phones. Digitalisation has become an omnipresent buzzword over the past years. But what's really behind this technology?
The rapid advancement of technological progress and society’s requirement to be able to handle everything anywhere and at any time create a dynamic process that constantly increases the demands on the economy through its disruptive impact. The demand for flexible, data-based services on the customer side have increased. The service consumer has become a cooperative "prosumer" with requirements on mobility, flexibility and a high degree of self-determination in daily life. This development is also a challenge for the energy industry.
A "smartening" is taking place: Smart homes, smart cities, and smart grids. New business models and market players are disrupting established market structures. As players in a stable, regulated market, energy companies have had to develop from central producers to agile, flexible, innovative service providers in a short time. Digitalisation offers manifold possibilities to tackle this challenge. Using new technologies allows more flexible, efficient process design, simplifies customer interaction and expands the service offering with digital solutions.
Axpo is already extensively digitalised in various areas. Trading and Sales, the Group digital pioneer, is using digital solutions in many areas. New technologies and approaches such as robotic process automation, machine learning, big data, advance analytics, blockchain, as well as the strategic use of cloud services are being tested or are in the process of being implemented. In parallel, digitalisation of the internal front-to-back processes in origination is being advanced.
The Grids division has launched digital initiatives in the area of system maintenance and servicing. Under the 10-year comprehensive line inspection process, the plan is to use drones as of 2018 to make the inspection process more efficient.
In addition, various initiatives have produced new, promising business models, some of which have already been implemented. For example, the Grids division and Axpo WZ Systems offer crisis-proof fixed network and mobile communications and have created an important service to cover the security requirements of the digital age. The project example Elblox (also see article) shows that Axpo is focusing closely on new technologies and the opportunities for their use in the energy sector. The project is concerned with how the new blockchain technology can be used in energy trading to make trading more efficient. Elblox has made a platform available that enables personalisation of electricity procurement in decentralised peer-to-peer trading.
Only those who recognise the opportunities of digitalisation and who look for better, faster, more efficient solutions with customers and suppliers will be able to succeed in the new energy world. All types of cooperation will be the key. The continued transformation of the company must be driven forward in order to ensure the success of Axpo in the future energy world 4.0.
Anyone who travelled via the Zurich main station this morning noticed: Today is Digital Day. The initiative is supported by Federal President Doris Leuthard and her colleague the Swiss Minister of Economy Johann Schneider-Ammann. Digital Day Switzerland underpins digital progress through digitalisation. Events are taking place all over Switzerland. To the programme overview