A new report highlights how energy sector companies are increasingly unlocking greater efficiencies and environmental sustainability by utilizing Industrial Internet of Things technologies.

The study carried out on behalf of mobile satellite communications group Inmarsat reveals that the two largest drivers behind the adoption of IIoT-based solutions across the energy sector are improving resource efficiency (61 per cent) and the monitoring of environmental conditions such as air quality, emissions and environmental contamination (54 per cent).

The research also showed that many energy organisations are realising their sustainability objectives through the use of IIoT: over two thirds (71 per cent) of respondents with fully deployed or trial-stage IIoT solutions stated that they were achieving environmental sustainability improvements.

Gary Bray, director of energy at Inmarsat Enterprise said: “The energy sector is faced with a multitude of challenges, tasked with reducing its impact on the environment and adhering to stricter government regulations, while grappling with a consistently lower oil price and increasing diversification towards renewable energy sources. Our research shows that energy organisations are adopting IIoT to help them achieve these goals, and that many are succeeding in this aim.”

Reported early successes in achieving sustainability objectives have been seen in the implementation of technologies that aid monitoring, fault detection and operational efficiency.

However, for IIoT technologies to function, access to reliable and resilient connectivity is essential to enablie the constant transmission of data to optimise operations. With many energy firms operating in remote regions or offshore, where terrestrial networks are not available, the report stresses that satellite communications networks are key.

Bray explained: “Without the right connectivity networks, IIoT deployments won’t succeed in delivering the improvements they are capable of. The global nature of the energy sector means that organisations need reliable connectivity to gather mission-critical data from every area of their operations and analyse it in real time, though patchy terrestrial coverage makes this challenging.”

How digitalisation is driving fundamental changes to the energy value chain will be explored at European Utility Week in Vienna next week. Click here for details.