The human touch of digitalisation
Digitalisation has changed the face of power generation engineering – and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.
Science fiction has become engineering for many now widely adopted practices and the next decade will offer more game-changing breakthroughs. And all of this requires energy companies to adapt and evolve with these changes, reskilling existing workforces and developing training modules for the next generation.
Of course, there are aspects of engineering that are instinctive and based on human senses: an engineer can know something is right or wrong with a piece of machinery simply by the hum of its engine. How do you build a piece of artificial intelligence that could do the same?
That’s one of the big questions facing the people developing energy’s digital highway – people like Laura Anderson of Siemens Energy. Which is why I sat down with her to explore the past, present and future of the power sector’s digital transformation.
She highlights how automation came to the fore during the pandemic and how AI and blockchain are offering innovative solutions to pressing climate issues.
Elsewhere in this issue, Dr Jacob Klimstra gets behind the hype to examine what is realistically the optimum use of hydrogen in conjunction with renewables.
We also explore the untapped potential of geothermal energy that is, literally, beneath our feet; and we discover what it would take to build a subsea link that would transport Australia’s considerable renewable energy electricity resources to Singapore. And we spotlight an affordable housing project in the US that is proving to be a blueprint for success for microgrid deployment.
I hope you enjoy this issue.
Editor, Power Engineering International