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“Energy Sector And Innovation: In Collaboration With Schneider Electric And Plaksha”
“Focus should be very much on how digital can help to save energy, along with decreasing emissions.”
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In an interview with BW Businessworld, Frederic Godemel, Executive Vice-President, Power Systems and Services, Schneider Electric, talks about clean energy, digital technology and other.
Q What is Schneider Electric’s focus area and how is it helping transition to clean energy?
Frédéric Godemel : The world is moving towards decarbonisation, and sustainable energy sources. Electricity is one of the greener sources today, and to gain maximum benefit out of this we need a set of digital tools, where we can combine electric with digital. The pandemic has accelerated all that was already present in the digital space, especially with work from home gaining traction in 2020.
Q What is the role of digital technology at Schneider, and how is it being harnessed?
Frédéric Godemel: We have developed integrated architecture based on digital standard and digital measure at the public level, following which we then capture information at a second layer called console layer, and a third layer which is on cloud based software and analytics services. We have also expanded to a fourth level, where we address end to end problems the customer has, from design to operation.
Q. Based on current trends and needs, what should be some research and innovation priorities for energy sector?
Frédéric Godemel: Focus should be very much on how digital can help to save energy, along with decreasing emissions. With work from home gaining traction, we have plenty of offices to cool down, with demand and production side both moving towards saving. Further there should be flexibility in accessing energy. For example, if one wants to charge their electric vehicle during the night, this information must be transferred to the distributor of energy. This is possible only with appropriate research and development.
Q. How is Schneider facilitating research and innovation in India?
Frédéric Godemel: India is one of the 4 big markets in the world, as well as one of the largest emitters of CO2. It has the potential to decarbonise by better usage of electricity. Schneider sees a specific market for India, due to which we have made an important acquisition in India (electrical system of Larsen & Tubro), and thanks to that we will be able to localise our research efforts.
Q. How has Schneider been collaborating with research institutions? How can Plaksha Center for Clean Energy play a role in this area?
Frédéric Godemel: We partner with research institutes as well as individual bodies, Plaksha being one of them. I see a lot of potential collaboration, in the field of decarbonisation, green technologies, as well as linking private domain with public domain of power distribution. We can work in areas like sustainability and recyclability, instead of using new raw material.
Q What is Schneider’s approach to addressing concerns about cyber security issues?
Frédéric Godemel: Cyber security is something we include in all our projects from the design stage. We have been able to build capabilities by consulting our customers, to help the company upgrade our cyber security practices. We regularly assess and upgrade where necessary while working with the customer to update them about the same. This issue has accelerated during the pandemic because people are using tools from home making access to information easier.
Q. What does the Indian government need to do to facilitate private sector with favourable policies and incentives?
Frédéric Godemel: The government is doing a lot to facilitate renewables and bring electricity to villages. Next mile is to ensure all this is connected and people can exchange together and speak about their need for energy, so a policy which would allow flexibility at the demand and production stage.
Q. What should be immediate research and innovation focus areas for Plaksha Center for Clean Energy?
Frédéric Godemel: I would focus on two fields, how we can connect demand with the generation of renewables, and how we maximise renewables on demand side. Other would be switching SF6 gear into switch gear. We also want to know how this can be applied to complex grid that is there in India.