If there are two terms that will characterise the production model of the future, they are digitalisation and sustainability. The energy sector, as a player in an industry that is leading change, has achieved gradual digitalisation, thanks to its transformation and leveraging of new technologies to put them at the service of society, helping to secure energy supply and contributing to decarbonisation.
According to María Jesús González, Strategy and Digital Agenda Manager at Enagás, "a process like digitalisation must be sustainable. This means that its implementation and further development should not compromise the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. And in the same way as in other areas, “the digital transformation that is under way has to be tackled in an environmentally friendly way. In other words, digitalisation should not come at the expense of the environment, but should drive sustainability and achieve synergy between the two”.
The European Commission has coined the term ‘twin transition’ to refer to a transition in which digitalisation and sustainability are complementary. According to the Commission, the twin transition seeks to harness the potential of the digital transformation as a key factor in achieving the targets of the European Green Deal. Accordingly, in addition to promoting a sustainable digital transformation, the Commission intends to use digitalisation itself as a lever to achieve carbon neutrality, not forgetting security of supply, which is of vital importance in Europe in the current context.
“The Fit for 55 package states that artificial intelligence, cloud computing and the Internet of Things will be necessary to achieve the decarbonisation targets that have been proposed in Europe, something that companies like Enagás are already working on”, says González.
For example, Enagás applies analytical capabilities to calculate strategic indicators such as carbon footprint, as it is committed to becoming a carbon-neutral company by 2040. “In this case, digitisation helps by automating and applying governance in capturing the data that calculates this index, and we hope that mathematical models may even be used in the future to help minimise it”, she added.
Applying sustainability to digitisation has many advantages. Digital sustainability has a positive impact on society and the environment, and is also a good indicator for improving stakeholder relations, promoting innovation and, in the same way, exploiting new business opportunities. A win-win situation that ensures a greener and fairer future.