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Blockchain, IoT and AI: The technology that will change your role

Over the past few decades, there have been huge advancements in technology and it has changed the way we live our lives, including the way we work. As we can expect technology to evolve increasingly rapidly in coming years, it’s wise for businesses to consider how it will change the way they operate and how staff roles will need to be adapted.

With the energy landscape constantly changing, we created our Future Utilities Manager report to give energy professionals some clarity when facing a largely uncertain future. Technology was a key focus for our research, so in this blog we take a look at the tech advances that are likely to affect your role by 2030:

Blockchain

What is it?

Blockchain is a method of recording data, from transactions to contracts, in a ledger that’s distributed across multiple computers.

How will it affect my role?

Blockchain allows data to be built up over time, decentralising records of action and creating a consensus of activity alongside a shared database. As all information held on a blockchain is public, it’s truly transparent and doesn’t require privacy features.

When combined with embedded generation, a blockchain energy market structure will make managing the energy grid even more complex. However, it should also lead to a reduction in carbon emissions, lower energy prices and make financial tracking easier – which many Energy Managers will welcome. The open nature of blockchain will also mean that Utilities Managers can share their own information and use information from other sources.

The IoT

What is it?

The IoT is a network of devices that are connected to the internet and to each other.

How will it affect my role?

How long it will take for the IoT to become an integral part of your role will depend on your plant replacement schedule, but it’s likely that you will be using the IoT daily within the next decade. As the cost of sensors has reduced significantly in recent years, large-scale deployment of IoT is increasingly viable.

With many businesses already collecting vast amounts of data, but lacking the resources to do anything with it, IoT will help you to process this data and make well-informed decisions as a result. Installing thermal imaging sensors, for example, will enable you to visualise heat flows in your building, which is something that many energy managers currently struggle with. Your site may already have a building management system (BMS), but developments in IoT tech will allow you to better control this system and potentially autonomous decision making.

Artificial Intelligence

What is it?

Computers with artificial intelligence can perform tasks that typically require human intelligence.

How will it affect my role?

AI will be used with IoT to ensure that businesses are making the most of the data they collect. As IoT becomes more prevalent and the quantity of data that needs to be analysed becomes beyond human capability, you will need to use AI to optimise your business processes.

By 2030, AI will enable automated data capture, processing and analysis. When it comes to making energy buying decisions, AI will be invaluable as it can be used to produce a data-driven analysis of energy demand, generation and supply markets. You will be able to run scenarios based on real time information and react to market changes instantly, minimising costs and generating revenue. Automation is also likely to reduce the size of your energy team, meaning that you’ll require more support from energy consultants.

Is your role future-proof?

Don’t be daunted by the technological advancements we’ve outlined above – while it’s likely you’ll need to adapt to a new way of working, there will be many benefits to implementing solutions like blockchain, the IoT and AI. Find out how to future-proof your role by downloading our Future Utilities Manager report.

If you’d like to speak to industry experts about future changes to the energy landscape and how to prepare yourself and your business for them, call us today on 08451 46 36 26 or email enquiries@inenco.com.