IT Leadership

ANALYSIS

Schneider Electric Ups the Ante on Smart Energy Management

Schneider Electric North America President Aamir Paul delivering a keynote at Innovation Summit 2022
Schneider Electric North America President Aamir Paul delivering a keynote at Innovation Summit 2022 (Image Credit: SmartTech Research)

Significant scientific research recognizes that the climate over the past decades has influenced humans and animals. Reasonable people can debate, and should, about the severity effect level. But it’s also rational to ask what the world can do to mitigate the impact of climate change in a pragmatic, cost-friendly and scalable manner.

Schneider Electric is arguably the undisputed leader in the digital transformation of energy management. Equally significant, few companies have the technology heritage, global credibility, and authoritative reputation in energy and sustainability.

The 186-years-old company has been unapologetic in its view that access to energy and digital technology is a fundamental human right. To actuate that view, Schneider Electric offers an expansive range of energy and automation digital products that help individuals, homeowners and businesses become more efficient and sustainable.

From a practical standpoint, Schneider Electric solutions — which are often integrated from a hardware, software, and services standpoint — frequently appear in homes, buildings, data centers, infrastructure (like airports), and industrial entities.

Timely Event

Last week, the company used its annual customer and partner event in Las Vegas called Innovation Summit to announce several new offerings in its energy management business.

Interestingly, its timing couldn’t be more astute given the complexity of the current instability of the energy environment that has sent the prices of raw materials and energy soaring to four-decade highs.

Schneider Electric’s Energy-as-a-Service solution on display at Innovation Summit 2022

Schneider Electric’s Energy-as-a-Service solution on display at Innovation Summit 2022 (Image Credit: SmartTech Research)


In the end, the goal must be to remove significant sources of energy waste and emissions. Concentrating on smart grid deployment and simplifying building energy management, a historical Schneider Electric strength, are all decisive steps that can help move the environmental football down the field.

New Eco-Friendly Solutions

With that as a backdrop, Schneider Electric used Innovation World to announce four new solutions that provide companies with the apparatuses and assistance they need to strategize, digitize and decarbonize their daily operations, hasten sustainability goals and address the current energy calamity. These capabilities strive to eliminate many of the globe’s most potent greenhouse gases from energy-based infrastructures.

SM AirSeT

On the emissions front, the company announced SM AirSeT, a green, digital solution powered by pure air.

SM AirSeT targets utilities and industries to reduce their environmental footprint and optimize their operations and maintenance.

EcoStruxure for Renewables

Turning its attention to the energy grid, the company is updating its Grids of the Future, Schneider Electric’s legacy strategy for enhancing the promise of clean, renewable energy.

The company’s new solution, EcoStruxure for Renewables, is fascinating as it pools new technologies and 21st-century digital twin integrations that should assist renewable farm operators in getting to market faster.

It is innovative and reflects sorely needed urgency in the market. This new capability utilizes digital continuity by amalgamating hybrid power sources in the farm operators’ operations.

Schneider Electric was one of the first companies to commit to the notion that the world must reach a net-zero carbon emissions posture as quickly as possible.

EcoStruxure Energy Hub

The company’s new EcoStruxure Energy Hub allows businesses to embrace their net-zero goals by facilitating energy awareness, compliance, optimization, and performance.

Essentially, this solution is an easy-to-use and highly secure IoT SaaS (software as a service) offering that creates visibility into establishments’ energy and emissions profiles and streamlines the management of building energy systems.

This solution was initially launched in the United States but will be released in select countries during the remainder of 2022, with global availability in 2023.

EcoCare

Finally, the Schneider Electric EcoCare program can be likened to a premium credit card-like concierge service for energy organizations. The offering aims to help customers leverage their energy and internal resources by accessing Schneider Electric’s expertise in electrical and industrial equipment, sustainability, mission-critical power, and digital and analytics competencies.

EcoCare, in addition, is crafted as a unified, IoT-enabled bundle of professional 24/7 support with a focus on deep insights into asset conditions and understanding efficiency and potential sustainability enhancements.

Analyst Take

Before we wrap up, here is a quick look at many of the demos at Schneider Electric’s Innovation Summit:

There is no question that the global economy is confronting unprecedented transformation in the energy sector. While climate change and decarbonization goals are chief drivers of this transformation, energy security and independence concerns also play potent roles.

With these announcements, Schneider Electric deserves kudos for putting its considerable heft behind the goal of making energy more electric and, perhaps more importantly, digital. Often described as the Electricity 4.0 phase in the energy sector, the digitization component of Schneider Electric’s strategy lays down a gauntlet for the entire industry.

However, Innovation Summit was not only about innovative and badly needed solutions. Perhaps what impressed me most during the event was the eloquence, humility, and common-sense commentary that characterized the keynotes from Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Schneider Electric’s CEO and Chairman, and Aamir Paul (pictured above), the company’s North America President.

Both executives spoke passionately about the urgency needed to address the world’s current “triple” crisis — energy, economic, and climate — facing global governments.

Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire speaking at Innovation Summit 2022

Schneider Electric CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire speaking at Innovation Summit 2022 (Image Credit: SmartTech Research)


Refreshingly, the company also appears to recognize the investment costs needed must be affordable to make the world pivot to more sustainable and energy-efficient sources. This requirement is highly critical and cannot be dismissed. After all, the energy sector comprises numerous legacy companies with aggressive bottom lines where transformation costs play a crucial role in how quickly they move.

Finally, governments need to hit the accelerator by removing, or at least dramatically reducing, much of the bureaucratic and lengthy timelines involved from a regulatory standpoint so that these new technologies and solutions can be implemented friction-free, a common theme that permeated many of the keynote presentations.

That was a common theme that permeated the keynote presentations during the event. My recent experience installing an EV charger in my multi-dwelling condo building, while admittedly a single case, tells me that local governments have a long way to go.

Closing Thoughts

Schneider Electric carried itself with aplomb, vision, and passion during its Innovation Summit. The company has set a high benchmark for what needs to be done for the world to transform itself into a more sustainable and energy-efficient entity. The remaining question is whether the world’s economies are up to the challenge.

Mark N. Vena

Mark N. Vena has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2022. As a technology industry veteran for over 25 years, Mark covers numerous tech topics, including PCs, smartphones, smart homes, connected health, security, PC and console gaming, and streaming entertainment solutions. Vena is the CEO and Principal Analyst at SmartTech Research, based in Silicon Valley. Email Mark.

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