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Schneider Electric envisions Electricity 4.0 for zero-carbon future

26 Aug 2021 | BY THE JAKARTA POST

As Indonesia marks the 76th anniversary of its independence this year, celebrations across the country have turned into a deep reflection on the future. With technology growing at a rapid pace, the digital revolution is becoming increasingly real by the second.

According to the e-Conomy SEA 2020 joint report by Google and Temasek, Indonesia is currently the largest digital economy in Southeast Asia, valued at US$44 billion in 2020 and expected to grow nearly threefold to $124 billion by 2025.

At the same time, the threat of climate change brings into question the current global industrial operations, with carbon emissions tied to high levels of energy consumption.

The gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy shows that energy plays a vital role in mitigating climate change. Combining green energy and digital technology allows us greater visibility in our energy consumption, as well as providing actionable insights to improve efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

In a webinar conducted by The Jakarta Post in collaboration with Schneider Electric, ​​Communications and Information Minister Johnny G. Plate said the COVID-19 pandemic had provided an opportunity to accelerate digitalization across the world, including in Indonesia where President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has mandated steps to maximize the country’s digital potential through initiatives in four main pillars: digital infrastructure, digital government, digital economy and digital society.

Roberto Rossi, Schneider Electric’s Indonesia and Timor Leste Cluster president, acknowledged that while COVID-19 had certainly transformed the world, the real crisis of climate change still lay ahead.

Reflecting on the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit the global temperature increase to a maximum of 2°C by the end of the 21st century, Rossi said that with the current trend, inaction would result in a catastrophic increase of 3 to 5°C. At the same time, Indonesia also possesses the vision to become one of the 10 largest global economies by 2030.”

“All in all, we need to change the way we work around energy - our relationship with energy. To fight climate change, we need to reshape this way of thinking,” he said, adding that approximately 80 percent of carbon emissions were caused by energy production and consumption.

The solution, he continued, was a shift to Electricity 4.0.

Echoing the widely used Industry 4.0 term, Electricity 4.0 is a more electric and digital world, powered by technology and software. Whereas the fourth industrial revolution introduces industrial use of the Internet of Things (IoT), the fourth electricity revolution also utilizes the IoT and technology to bring about efficiency in energy production and consumption.

“Electricity 4.0 will power a more electric and digital future, which will be more sustainable and resilient. Electricity is two to five times more efficient than other sources of energy, and can be produced in a cleaner way,” Rossi explained.

According to Rossi, the current energy production and consumption heavily relies on fossil fuels, while current networks outdated, passive and disconnected. To rectify this, he continued, Schneider Electric expects to upgrade the entire power value train, from generation and distribution to smart usage.

By decentralizing energy generation, technical losses can be reduced, while a more digital network can secure continuity and consistency in delivery. Finally, electric solutions for everyday lives, from homes and buildings to infrastructure and data centers, can make way for more efficiency in energy consumption.

“We are leading by example in our ecosystem, both internally in our company and by helping our customers reduce consumption through efficiency, thus helping to achieve net zero carbon emissions as soon as possible. That is why Schneider Electric has being recognized by Corporate Knights Global 100 Index as the Most Sustainable Company in The World in 2021”

Schneider offers the EcoStruxure ADMS (advanced distribution management system) solution for power grids, offering predictive maintenance that can reduce time to action and a remote control center that reduces the need for an on-site crew. Currently, the EcoStruxure has been used by ENEL, the largest electricity distributor in Italy, as well as SA Power Networks, which supplies electricity to 1.7 million homes in South Australia.

Along with power grids, EcoStruxure is also available for data centers, with Indonesian data center Lintasarta and export financial service provider Indonesia Eximbank achieving 100 percent uptime.

At the same time, Schneider also completed an investment in Xurya Daya, a renewable energy start-up pioneering the switch to solar panels for commercial and industrial buildings in Indonesia. Schneider aims to expand solar panel usage for plants across the country.

In support of the Industry 4.0 vocational development, the company has worked with the government for the Center of Excellence for Electricity, Automation and Renewable Energy. Schneider has already upgraded 184 laboratories and trained 240 teachers, who in turn are responsible for approximately 10,800 students.

“It took more than 70 years to electrify mature economies, but with Electricity 4.0, we will achieve the zero carbon future faster. [...] It’s impossible to do it alone, and Schneider Electric is ready to be a strategic partner for the country and collectively accelerate the journey to decarbonize and massively deploy Electricity 4.0" Rossi concluded.

ARTICLE BY The Jakarta Post

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