Accelerating Growth by Leveraging AI in Energy and Utilities | Tech Mahindra

Accelerating Growth by Leveraging AI in Energy and Utilities

With the perpetual COVID-19 restrictions continuing to impact business operations, energy and utilities market has not been spared either. Organizations have accelerated their move to "Hybrid Working," investing in smart ops, digital tooling, infrastructure, and virtual delivery models, even though long-term new methods of working would necessitate significant adjustment. Customers in the energy sector were also dissatisfied, since they were compelled to switch to larger providers and pay higher rates as a result. Will 2022 be the year that undoes the harm that was done in 2021, or will the months ahead be filled with further turmoil?

Typically regarded as laggards in comparison to industry verticals such as retail and financial services, the energy and utilities industry has been driven into a new hybrid mode of operation because of COVID-19. This "new normal" will transform how utilities function in a way that isn't necessarily local in terms of labor and infrastructure. Consequently, operators will begin to see the benefits of a more connected environment and will begin to consider how they might adapt their current strategies to digital business transformation. To become more flexible and provide greater assistance across all facets, from the field-force to customers, the industry must invest in intelligent operations, utilizing technologies like as artificial intelligence (AI), business process automation and next generation edge-based devices.

AI algorithms enable utilities and energy firms analyze and optimize customer behavior as well as control energy usage across many sectors, in addition to making the power system intelligent and adaptable. AI-based solutions can help the energy and utility industries generate more money by:

  • Providing software programmes with the ability to analyze big data sets, spot trends, discover abnormalities, and make exact forecasts.
  • Assisting in the creation of intelligent process automation-enabled programmes that can make appropriate judgments on their own based on learning. This enables AI to be integrated into a variety of applications.
  • Enabling client-centric solutions that recognize changing consumer demands and provide suggestions automatically.
  • Predictive analytics may be used to optimize equipment O&M and forecast downtime, perhaps extending the equipment's lifetime.
  • Using game theory algorithms and blockchain to safeguard data, facilitating active client engagement in demand-response systems.

The electric power industry gets accelerated through increased use of digital technologies such as smart metering solutions driving smart ops. Organizations in the utilities industry are looking forward to overcoming challenges in customer life cycle, distribution management and socio-economic scenarios to provide seamless digital customer experience, meet digital demands, improve resource utilization, and create environmental impact.

There are broadly 4 categories of challenges that organizations face in terms of managing energy & utilities demand:

  • Efficiency – Reduction in transmission loss, pressure to reduce prices and proper op-ex management
  • Reliability – Providing uninterrupted power supply and quick reactions to changes
  • Capacity – Fulfilling the increasing global demand through ancient infrastructure
  • Sustainability – Ensuring effective integration of renewable power generation and reducing the carbon footprint

Digital Transformation in Utilities

Digital trends are changing industry dynamics for utilities. Digital supply chains ensure streamlined delivery, omni-channel and IoT impact customer experience, blockchain ensures secured and accurate data transfers, machine learning enables self-learning to cater to unknown threats and collaborative monetization builds partial ownership networks to deliver smart utilities.

Many sectors are being transformed by digital, and the electricity and utilities business is no exception. With smart electric meters, digital business transformation is changing the way power and utility businesses operate today, including how they create value, service consumers, manage costs, streamline procedures, and seize new market possibilities. Digital is projected to upend traditional business models by radically altering the scope of operations and their profitability, as well as allowing new companies to emerge. The competitive dynamics of the relevant ecosystems will be altered as a result of this disturbance. Companies typically struggle with the complexity of these developments, according to the work with top firms. Regardless of where they operate, power and utility firms have comparable strategic imperatives. They might include:

  • Using digital technology to scale up new firms
  • Using data to capture value via machine learning (ML) or AI
  • Fully digitalized end-to-end procedures are being implemented
  • Adding new digital technologies to their IT infrastructure
  • Getting their employees ready for the digital age

One of the Tier 1 analyst fraternity readily shares the POV on AI use cases for industry processes present across energy & utilities.

Smart grids

Energy companies can collect energy usage data from every device on the grid through sensors.This information can be used to develop energy efficiency projects for customers and to monitor energy flow and energy use in near real-time.AI can process the information collected and suggest recommendations for smart usage that minimizes waste

Automated monitoring of gas pipelines

Gas infrastructure operators need to improve gas pipeline surveillance to detect possible damages, gas leaks, or the presence of dangerous objects close to the pipelines. This task, performed by human operators, is expensive and time consuming.Through videos recorded using drones and an AI system that leverages intelligent process automation computer vision, warnings can be issued to the operators when a risky situation is detected by the system

Tech Mahindra’s energy and utilities solutions combine substantial utility knowledge with a systematic strategy to help businesses analyze upcoming possibilities and risks and choose the best course of action for their specific scenario. We assist in the creation of a digital vision, the development of new offers, the transformation of core companies, and the establishment of a strong platform for full-scale digital business transformation in power and utilities. A majority of the IT effort in most energy and utility firms is focused on maintaining integration and ensuring data can function with critical business systems. Every time a new feature or asset is added to the system, the entire integration process must be redone.

About the Author
Prabhjinder Bedi
Chief Growth Officer - Business Process Services Tech Mahindra

Bedi has over two decades of experience involving launching start-up ecosystems, scaling up businesses, and successfully taking products and services to market across industry verticals, spanning telecom and media, hi-tech/new economy, financial services, retail and consumer goods, manufacturing, and life sciences.More

Bedi has over two decades of experience involving launching start-up ecosystems, scaling up businesses, and successfully taking products and services to market across industry verticals, spanning telecom and media, hi-tech/new economy, financial services, retail and consumer goods, manufacturing, and life sciences. Having spent over 16 years at Tech Mahindra, Bedi is currently responsible for taking our existing and new-age service offerings to global markets and adding meaning to our shareholders, partners, and customers. Bedi is a bachelor’s in Engineering from IIT, Benaras and holds Master of Business Administration (MBA) from IIM Calcutta.