The energy market is constantly changing, and with that, new challenges and complexities arise every day that renewable energy companies must face. The pressure for energy transition is higher than ever, especially with the renewed urgency expressed with the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate report. Simplification, the consumer’s desire for more digital solutions, and technological advances all bring opportunities to enhance the growth of renewables in this energy transition process. As we look ahead at what the future of renewable energy looks like, this future will be one fueled by more sophisticated technology platforms that can handle large amounts of data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI).
The Growing Renewable Energy Market
The growth of renewable energy in the world is exponential and this trend remains strong, indicating that in the coming years this growth will continue to be marked and bringing great opportunities. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), 50% of the global energy matrix will be solar and wind by 2050. We are experiencing global transformation and change. Based on this growth and evolution of the market, the renewable energy sector is in transformation and there are opportunities and challenges to be addressed by us. There are no reasons the new demand is not sustainable and renewable.
As the largest 100% renewable energy company in Brazil, a country that proudly is already running on about 45% renewable energy, we at Omega Energia have always been fully committed to sustainability and building a more sustainable planet by embracing and driving technological innovation. Present in seven states with renewable sources of power, over time, Omega innovated and turned technology into a great ally to solve problems for its customers and markets. In 2020, Omega Energia launched the first 100% digital platform for purchasing and managing energy in the “free market of energy,” taking another step toward its purpose of transforming the world through clean, cheap, and simple energy.
Innovating with Digitalization
The “Free Energy Market” is the way to meet the demand response and the reduction of regulation in the market, and the possibility for customers to choose their own energy. Digitalization must be a key point in the energy sector. Simplification and consumer desire for more digital solutions and technological advancement brings opportunities to all stakeholders.
At Omega, we have a very clear approach on how to prepare for a digital renewable energy future that will transform how to bring more operational efficiency for renewable energy. It includes the following three aspects:
- Teams. Our teams are specialized in energy and technology, and thus get the best value to deliver powerful solutions. Working in agile and collaborative ways is an important differentiating component for our teams.
- Data-Driven. Since our foundation we know that data is an important asset in decision-making, and having the best solutions for Big Data, AI, and machine learning is essential to advance our strategic goals.
- Applications. Having the best applications, as well as more advanced use of the cloud, allows us to have agility in the delivery of solutions and decision-making.
Our architecture is a key point for us to deliver the transformational solutions we are developing at Omega Energia. Important decisions in the past to invest in 100% cloud, automation, robotics, and analytics systems have proved to be a great competitive advantage. We have solutions ranging from our wind operation, automatic generation optimization, to solutions in our back office using robotic automation and zero-touch transactions in our software-as-a-service (SaaS) enterprise resource planning (ERP). Currently, we have a tailor-made solution that makes us the most efficient generator in the industry.
Partnering to Make Renewables More Predictable
Predicting weather conditions, especially over longer time horizons, is a strategic point and a big challenge in this sector. We started by combining several data sources, connecting with the IBM cloud, and processing through advanced weather and machine learning models. With the support of IBM data science and meteorological experts, we optimized the accuracy of the forecast models. After completing this step, we completed the automation process and returned the data to our data lake.
The development between IBM and Omega is a cutting-edge forecasting solution that is bringing us enormous benefits in maintenance planning, generation forecasting, and strategic planning. We are on a transformational journey to build a more sustainable future for our customers in Brazil and the world with digital innovation for renewables forecasting.
—Daniel Biaggio is CTO at Omega Energia.