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Improving electrical distribution with stronger partnerships

Author : Stewart Gregory, Schneider Electric UK&I

06 June 2022

Climate change is a global threat that can’t be ignored. Governments and corporations have responded to alarming scientific reports by adopting goals to restrict global temperature rises to 1.5°C instead of 3.5°C.

Stewart Gregory, Schneider Electric UK&I
Stewart Gregory, Schneider Electric UK&I

Whilst individual efforts and goals are necessary and helpful in moving us in the right direction, we must transform how we operate on a global scale to have a better chance against environmental calamity.

A collaborative approach to climate change enables the sharing of insights, solutions, and tools that are best suited to specific sectors that require change. We are currently confronted with a number of issues, including power disruptions and rising energy bills, and must examine our current electrical distribution system to determine the best course of action. Resilience, sustainability, and efficiency should be key indicators of our current energy distribution system’s quality. How do we translate potential partnerships into successful collaborations to revolutionise the way we power businesses?

Innovative collaborations
Through creative technology developments in the electricity distribution sector, alliances can pave the way to a greener future. Partnerships enable us to have a better understanding of how to address challenges that may have arisen in the past in different industries. Creating an ecosystem of partners stimulates cross-industry collaboration, which ultimately fosters the scale of innovation required to truly tackle climate change. Big problems demand big solutions. If we can accelerate the process of implementing a solution and assessing its efficiency, we should utilise the resources needed for it.

Sharing insights can also increase awareness in the industry. A study conducted by IDC on behalf of Schneider Electric found that in 2018, only 26% of our channel partners found collaborations necessary, a stark contrast to the 64% in 2020, a tremendous increase in just two years. Companies are recognising partnerships as a key asset to a sustainable future, with the numbers growing. Looking at this from a smaller scale, a team is only as good as its weakest player. If the goal of our team – the world – is to be carbon free by 2050, banding together is the best course of action to produce results.

More intelligent implies more complexity
As we develop our electricity distribution solutions, the need for reliable equipment increases. Business operations become more digital and complex in nature, so the power distribution demands more resilience. Unreliable energy supply can lead to unplanned downtime and electrical safety issues. Interruptions in operations are time consuming and costly to businesses. One of the best examples is the cost associated with power outages in data centres, with the Uptime Institute finding that nearly one in six operators who reported outages had to cover costs of more than $1 million per outage.

Sustainability must be at the centre of our decision-making process as increasingly complex systems are required to provide uninterrupted power. Digital and long-term solutions should be investigated and tested. As we move to renewable energies and infrastructures, diffusing knowledge across industries might just be the ultimate asset we can harness to truly revolutionise the way we operate globally.

Solve challenges collaboratively
Proactively preventing problems with reducing frequency is a crucial step in problem solving. We can prioritise safety and deploy resilient solutions that are less prone to disruptions and potential commercial losses by forming partnerships. 

Collaborations should also transcend their own industry. Different industries can share information about past challenges and solutions, which can then be applied to other industries in the future. By sharing experiences, we reduce costs that we might incur in, as well as a faster approach to problem-solving, which can ultimately amount to great cost-saving benefits. 

For businesses to operate at their best, they need reliable electricity distribution. Our energy requirements continue to rise. Our answers to expansion must likewise adapt in order to meet the sector’s needs. Although the future is uncertain, establishing a network of flexible partners and a set of innovative solutions improve the resilience of our electrical distribution networks, resulting in operational and sustainable benefits. As the world changes, we must consider methods to improve the way we conduct operations and supply energy, always keeping sustainability in mind.

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