The energy transition and digital transformation must happen in concert. In fact, a resounding 64% of energy executives recently surveyed said it would not be possible to deliver the energy transition without rapidly increasing digital transformation. Just as critical as the growth of renewable energy is the adoption of digital technology that enables companies to balance their sustainability and financial goals.
GE Digital partnered with Reuters Events to conduct a survey of 600 professionals from a range of energy industries, aiming to capture the current state of focus and investment around the energy transition.
An overwhelming consensus of business leaders count both the energy transition and digital transformation as major priorities for their organizations – with 86% of respondents saying energy transition is a major priority for their organizations, and 68% of the sample ranking digital transformation as a high priority. Looking at the two issues together, the respondents broadly agreed that digital transformation will be key for energy transition plans, with 77% total rating it as “extremely” or “very” important.
With those baselines confirmed, we examined the value of software in delivering energy transition goals and found:
- 77% of respondents believe software can improve emissions reduction
- 72% say software can keep existing assets running while an organization transitions to low-carbon operations
- 60% respondents think software can minimize the likelihood of stranded assets and improve return on investment
- 72% see software as just as important as equipment or new business models in achieving the energy transition
Given respondents’ belief in the value of software, it’s good news that more than half of those surveyed believed their organizations were investing enough in digital solutions to overcome the energy transition challenges they face. The survey revealed companies are currently pursuing a wide range of digital tools to assist with the energy transition, including predictive analytics software (15%), remote operations (15%) and systems for workforce management and mechanical integrity and operational maintenance (12% each).
Yet, despite the majority feeling their companies were investing enough, only 31% affirmed that overall industry investment in software is sufficient to overcome energy transition challenges. The survey uncovered that the biggest problems with enabling energy transition strategies through software were to do with deployment and adoption challenges, cited by 57% of C-suite respondents and 63% of respondents overall.
The economy also figured into the equation, with just 20 percent of respondents reporting their organizations were adopting new software and embracing digital change “as much as possible” in the current, uncertain economic outlook.
Dig deeper into these findings and more, including other barriers companies are facing to scale up digital solutions as quickly as needed to address the energy transition.