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Energize Digital transformation is key to energy efficiency
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Digital transformation is key to energy efficiency

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The South African National Energy Development Institute re-affirms that energy efficiency will reduce electricity costs, lower carbon emissions, and improve the environment.

Digital transformations in the power and energy sector are a key step in national and regional plans to improve energy efficiency throughout sub-Saharan Africa. As economies throughout the region power up and organisations focus on how they can resume their operations, research by Schneider Electric underlines the importance that digital transformations will have when it comes to energy efficiency, cost savings, and sustainability.

Workers reviewing paperwork in gas plant

The findings of the Global Digital Transformation Benefits Report, which was initially released in 2019, were validated by Schneider Electric’s customers in the Middle East and Africa throughout 2020. The results underline that there are four universal results of any successful digital transformation: remote capabilities; resiliency; efficiency, and sustainability. These four elements are providing digitally focused companies with a base for growth, even during times of crisis.

Speaking in the run up to the company’s annual Innovation Summit Middle East and Africa, which is to be held on 28 October, Barry Bredenkamp, General Manager Energy Efficiency at the South African National Energy Development Institute (SANEDI), spoke of the role that energy efficiency should play in getting economies up and running to their full capacity.

Barry Bredenkamp

“Energy efficiency is a key enabler of economic growth, and will create jobs, get the economy moving faster, and reduce costs. Long term, it’ll help create a greener, more sustainable climate. Digital technologies have the potential to optimise the energy usage for many activities; from constructing an industrial product, to cooling a home. This represents an increase in energy efficiency. Increasing end-use efficiency continues to be a critical ingredient in energy transitions in South Africa and globally, with benefits in both developed and emerging economies.,” said Bredenkamp.

Building on research released last year from a repository of 230 customer projects Schneider Electric completed in the last five years across 41 countries, the company interviewed customers across the Middle East and Africa on the potential for digital transformations to improve organisational performance. The research culminates in four key factors to ensure business continuity during unprecedented times: energy efficiency, sustainability, remote everything, and resilience.

“The pandemic is transforming every business, and this year is a reminder of why agility, efficiency, and resiliency matter so much,” said Taru Madangombe, VP Energy Business, Schneider Electric Anglophone Africa. “Organisations are looking to save costs whilst working towards becoming more responsive to customer needs. The one solution we have found to both is digitisation. Those organisations who have been digital pioneers have had a substantial edge over the competition. COVID-19 has accelerated digital, and every organisation that has invested in this transformation is now benefiting from increased resiliency, efficiency, and sustainability whilst also being able to operate remotely.”

Energy efficiency has always been critical for industry. And this has never been truer than during the pandemic. Organisations are always looking to reduce costs, speed-up response times, and improve efficiencies. South Africa’s RCL Foods, a producer of private label food products, implemented a modern and reliable automated control system with remote access capabilities. The result has been greater visibility into the plant’s operations, reduced downtime, and a 20% increase in throughput.

Schneider Electric will be showcasing more examples of how organisations can improve their energy efficiency through successful digital transformations at the Innovation Summit MEA, which will take place online on the 28 October. Prior registration is required.

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