Barriers to digitalisation “holding back” transition, warns DNV GL

The success of the global energy transition could rest on the transmission and distribution (T&D) industry’s ability to overcome barriers to implementing digitalisation, DNV GL has warned.

On 18 February, it released a report having surveyed almost 2,000 engineers and senior executives, from start-ups to large corporations, in the energy sector, finding that just over half (52%) of Distribution Network Operators (DNOs) have digitalisation as a core part of their publicly stated strategy. In the case of Transmission System Operators (TSOs), this number is just four in 10 (39%). A third of the T&D industry considers itself less advanced than the wider energy industry with regards to its current application of digitalisation.

The survey found stakeholders in the T&D industry to be fully aware of the potential benefits of digitalisation with TSOs and DSOs listing cyber security (76%/67%), data visualisation (67%/71%), and automation and digital workflow (73%/68%) as the top three digital technologies making an impact on their industry. Furthermore, despite low levels of strategic digitalisation, T&D stakeholders were found to be focused on including additional digital skillsets into their workforce.

Lucy Craig, Vice President of Technology and Innovation, said that the survey had also shown that 40% of T&D stakeholders believe a lack of digital mindset is a barrier within their organisation. Craig added: “The role that the T&D industry needs to play in making the energy transition a success cannot be overestimated, which is why we call on organizations to invest in digital skills training to equip their employees with the necessary competences to tackle the challenges the T&D industry is facing.”