“digitalization Of The European Electricity System” – An experimental study on the use of tracer particles for interface monitoring in primary cementation in an eccentric Helle-Shaw cell

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“digitalization Of The European Electricity System”

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Digitization, digital twins, blockchain and Industry 4.0 as elements of the management process in enterprises in the energy sector

Next Generation Energy Systems: How To Advance The Digitalisation Of Eu Energy Infrastructure?

Received: 8 March 2021 / Revised: 24 March 2021 / Accepted: 25 March 2021 / Published: 29 March 2021

In the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly clear that human and corporate activities affect the environment. Therefore, it is important to familiarize yourself with the methods by which companies minimize the negative effects of their activities. The article presents the steps taken and the innovative activities carried out by enterprises in the energy sector. The article analyzes the innovative activities undertaken and implemented by enterprises from the energy sector. Relationships between innovation strategies, including, among others, digitization and Industry 4.0 solutions, in the development of companies and the results achieved in terms of sustainable development and environmental impact. Digitization has far exceeded the traditional productivity improvement ranges of 3-5% per year, with a clear potential for cost improvement of well over 25%. Enterprises on a large scale make attempts to increase energy efficiency by implementing state-of-the-art innovative technical and technological solutions, which increase reliability and durability (material and mechanical engineering). The digitalization of energy companies allows them to reduce operating costs and increase efficiency. With digital advances, the useful life of a power plant can be increased by up to 30%. Advanced technologies, blockchain and the use of intelligent networks enable the activation of buyers in the electricity market. The reduction of energy consumption in industry and at the same time the increase of energy efficiency that the European Union is fighting for in the clean air package for all Europeans have a positive impact on environmental protection, sustainable development and the implementation of the decarbonization program.

The management of enterprises in the energy sector is currently focused on several essential activities, namely digitalization of the sector [1, 2] and its development towards zero emissions (decarbonization) and sustainable development [3]. The ability to adapt to the requirements of the legal, environmental or technological environment allows enterprises to implement new solutions that work on the market in a short time [4, 5]. If the enterprise has the ability to react in advance (the so-called anticipatory adaptation [4, 5]) and uses various flexible processes and integration with high-tech systems, it has the potential to create a digital enterprise. Such an enterprise would be based on virtual reality and integrated solutions from the world of automation and robotics. The direction and activities undertaken in the process of managing enterprises in the energy sector are shown in Figure 1.

Digitalization already contributes to increasing the level of safety, efficiency, availability and durability of energy systems. Digitalization provides the opportunity to increase energy efficiency thanks to technologies that collect and analyze data. These data are processed into useful information using data analysis technologies such as artificial intelligence algorithms and then sent to devices that can affect physical changes in order to optimize energy consumption [6]. The novelty of the research concerns digitization, digital twins and the latest solutions used in the energy sector. Many solutions have already been implemented in some sectors, eg the aviation industry (aircraft engines), but for power plants, these are innovative solutions. This approach is analogous to that of innovation, which can be divided into relative innovation and absolute innovation. Digital twins are in their early stages of application in nuclear power; therefore we will classify them as relative innovations.

European Commission:

Decarbonization and energy efficiency, which are a response to the problem of the environment and global warming, require the implementation of appropriate strategies, taking radical decisions to promote effective and timely changes in energy systems [3, 7].

Zero emission and sustainable development are related to the implementation of innovative solutions in the field of renewable energy sources, as well as shifting the activities of enterprises to work in terms of energy efficiency. Enterprises are increasingly using the energy efficiency standards ISO 1400 and ISO 5001. Special attention should also be paid to the increasing use of the ESCO (energy saving company/service) formula. Energy service companies (ESCOs) can be effective instruments for overcoming some of the barriers to energy efficiency implementation [8]. The increased use of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency technologies is one of the trends in climate transformation and sustainable development identified in the industrial sector [9]. Reducing the intensity of carbon dioxide emissions, as well as improving efficiency in industry combined with innovative solutions positively affects the climate and energy situation [10].

This article presents a survey of the activities undertaken by enterprises in order to meet environmental and technological requirements. Regarding technological issues, the increase in energy efficiency was analyzed, through the use of ADP and AMT techniques, as well as the digitalization of the sector (virtual power plants, blockchain and digital twins). In the environmental aspect, the activities of the European Union related to decarbonization, reduction of harmful effects on the environment and reduction of energy consumption were reviewed.

For several years now, management studies have begun to adopt, accept and apply mixed methods, ie. two methods simultaneously: qualitative and quantitative, represented by the inductive model and the hypothetical-deductive model [5]. In the research works conducted and described in this article, qualitative research was used, conducted with the observation method and classified as primary research, and descriptive methods were classified as secondary research called desk research. The conducted observations made it possible to analyze the behavior of the companies, while the desk research made it possible to carry out a descriptive analysis of the companies and the entire sector. Secondary research used external literature on digitization and innovation in industry and the energy sector. The text analysis is based on the literature published in English, as well as reports from various companies and annual reports of energy companies. In addition, materials published in articles in specialized journals and on websites were analyzed. As part of the source study, a critical content analysis was performed, and existing data were analyzed. An analysis of the data contained in the official reports of the EU institutions was also carried out.

The Digital Transition

Innovations and new technologies enable companies to function, work and develop in a constantly changing environment. In addition, innovations help to reduce the negative impact on the environment. Innovation strategy defines long-term goals, methods and scope in which implemented innovations, whether product, process or organizational, are used to build a strong market position. The role and significance of innovations and currently frequently used eco-innovations for the development of enterprises derive from their direct or indirect impact on company results. Innovations depend on the genre (type) of the industry. Innovations can also increase the level of employment in a company and affect efficiency. The desk research shows that some sectors implemented innovation, digitization and high-tech solutions much earlier than energy companies. The desk research also showed that the latest technical and IT solutions such as blockchain and digital twins enable the implementation of a low- or zero-emission (decarbonization) economy, for example by creating virtual power plants and using a greater proportion of renewable sources of energy and greater activity of producers in the energy mix.

Over the past two decades, many economies and governments have increasingly focused on investing in energy efficiency. The actions taken mainly refer to the improvement of production processes, modernization of devices and buildings and introduction of new technologies. Industrial energy efficiency programs have become one of the most popular government policies aimed at reducing energy consumption in energy-intensive industries [ 11 , 12 ]. In 2015-2018, the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management in Poland allocated approximately EUR 510 billion for activities to increase energy efficiency. These funds were allocated

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