Experts at Middle East Energy virtual event reveal the importance of digitalisation within energy grids

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  • Utilising machine learning and artificial intelligence within grids could dramatically reduce capital expenditure
  • Transmission and Distribution sector week to provide a platform for manufacturers and distributors from the entire supply chain to meet clients, capture new business and network with the industry 

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Middle East Energy (MEE) began its second virtual sector week yesterday, Transmission and Distribution, with the opening session highlighting the importance of digitalisation within energy grids to ensure ongoing reliability, efficiencies, and reducing the carbon footprint. 

The panel session, Impact of digitalisation on transmission and distribution networks, included insights from notable speakers, including Claudio Pedretti, President, Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), he said: 

“Automation and digital solutions can help transmission and distribution companies successfully navigate today’s challenges. 

“However, we need to make sure that data complexity can be used to improve power transmission and asset management capabilities. A huge amount of data alone will not help improve our asset management. What is needed is strategic thinking and new capabilities and ideas that can be implemented into artificial intelligence algorithms.”

Dubai-based Mohamed Ayoub, Regional Growth Leader, GE, highlighted the changes in the way grids are being designed in the market. 

“With digitalisation, the design margins that we use to consider when designing our transmission networks, our distribution networks, and even generation will be more optimised to ensure that we have a better optimum solution for our grid moving forward. This shift within the industry is enabling us to utilise our capital expenditure better and improving value,” he said.

Others participating in the opening day panel discussion included Suddhasatta Kundu, Senior Manager – Technical Advisory, India Smart Grid Forum; Ahmed Fateen, Power Systems VP, Schneider Electric; and moderated by Mate Gerecs, Associate Director, Boston Consulting Group.

Elsewhere on the agenda on day one, Robert Moreira, Senior Research Engineer – R&D, EDF Energy, presented a session focused on reducing network losses with digitalisation technologies, while Marc Buisson, Project Manager – South America and UAE for the company, outlined the latest energy storage technologies at hydro pumps.

Rounding out the panel discussions on the opening day was Making technologies work for you – choosing the right over the latest with crucial insights coming from Etisalat, Uniper, Oracle and NXN. A series of product pitch sessions from industry heavyweights KONCAR, Haefely AG and KEMA Labs addressing Distribution and power transformers in smart networks, Testing Transformers for the Grid of the Future, Transformer Arc Testing and Revolutionalising urban planning through underground cables.

Claudia Konieczna, Exhibition Director, Middle East Energy, said: “With post-COVID-19 recovery measures expected to drive a lasting shift in the global energy mix, reliable generation together with well-balanced Transmission and Distribution networks will be crucial in driving economic recovery. 

“We have heard from a range of experts from around the world who have all reiterated the importance of creating efficient networks focused on reducing carbon emissions, as well as seeing a cross-section of product presentations including components, cables, switchgears, tools, and transformers through to smart grid automation solutions and smart metering, and much more, to support this industry sector.”

A packed schedule today, 25 May, will featue presentations on Cybersecurity: protecting electricity assets in the digital age by Dr Hoda Alkhzaimi, Director of Cyber Security, New York University – Abu Dhabi. In addition, sessions on Technologies for real-time monitoring of assets and capabilities; Balancing grids during the energy transition: alternating energy sources (smart grid, IoT, AI); and Minigrids as an option for developing countries are also scheduled.

Sponsored sessions on day two include S&C Electric Company: Improving Reliability of the Overhead Distribution System with the TripSaver II; Hitachi ABB Power grids tap-changers – help utilities to reduce maintenance and footprint; AirRIP® flex transformer bushings – The power of a thousand bushings; and KEMA: Testing Services for E-Mobility and Batteries; and Hitachi ABB: Transformer Asset Management using TXpert Ecosystem.

The final day of the sector week, which takes place tomorrow, 26 May, includes sessions on Digital transformation of substations for reliable power grids of the future; Creating stable grids with variable resources: incorporating alternating energy sources into the existing grid system; and Fall Protection in Power Transmission Overhead Lines. An insight into the latest industry certifications will also be provided.

Hitachi, ABB Power Grids, Brady Middle East, BRE Global and Riedon will showcase various technologies in the Transmission and Distribution field on the last day.

Continuing from last week is the Energy Startup Hub, run in partnership with Green Climate Ventures and sponsored by Schneider Electric. The hub provides global energy startups with a platform to showcase their innovations to a panel of investors and industry experts. The winner will be announced during the final week of the virtual showcase starting 7 June.

Connecting businesses for over 40 years, Middle East Energy, an Informa Markets event, has been an essential part of the economic expansion of the Middle East, introducing new energy solutions to the region to support the build of infrastructure, real estate and commerce. It is now helping governments, organisations and SME’s diversify the generation and supply of energy and build a sustainable future.

Informa’s global energy portfolio will in 2021 bring together the entire spectrum of the industry in sector-focused virtual weeks, from May to June and year-round through its sister publication, Energy & Utilities.