Digital Partner in the Fields of Sustainability and Efficiency

Photo: Schneider Electric

The coronavirus has brought numerous changes in everyday life. It also contributed to the increasing demand for sustainable energy and sustainability in all areas of work.

The innovations are introduced, and new technologies are adopted apace. The measures that were globally adopted to protect people’s health and lives, such as lockdowns and movement restrictions, appeared to be also an impetus for changes speeding up the adoption of digital technologies.

“I am sure that the high level of their use will persevere in the future,” said Dr. Petr Hermann, the cluster president for Southeast Europe at Schneider Electric, in the interview he gave to our Magazine.

“The Schneider Electric company recognizes increasing demands for sustainable energy and also that sustainability is one of the key drivers of efficiency and innovations. We believe that this concept is a powerful source of motivation for people looking for sustainable workplaces. The solutions based upon sustainability are also a great response to greater clients’ demands”, says Hermann.

He points out that more than 80 percent of CO2 emissions come from energy production and consumption. In addition, throughout the previous five decades, the global population has doubled.

“With the expansion of the global economy and the growth of the global population, our energy needs will rise more than 40 percent until 2040, to be able to supply with electricity our facilities, houses, factories satisfying our need for cooling, transport, and connections.”

Therefore, it is necessary to generate electricity from renewable energy sources and increase the share of electric energy significantly in total energy usage, aiming to reduce CO2 emissions and slow down global warming. According to Hermann’s prognosis, in the next 20 years, the share of electricity in all our activities will double.

“A lot has been said about electricity, but today it makes only 20 percent of all energy we use. In the next two decades, that share will amount to at least 40 percent. And finally, electricity will be substantially different, because today only 6 percent of energy is generated from renewable sources. Expectations are that during that period, up to 40 percent will come from renewable sources. In addition to that, all that we install today and build will also be here in the next 20 years. So, if we want to tackle the climate issue, we have to introduce all those changes now.”

Petr Hermann reflected that the Schneider Electric company was ranked the world’s most sustainable corporation at the beginning of 2021, in a prestigious annual list compiled by Corporate Knights, a media and research company focused on corporate sustainability performance.

Photo: Schneider Electric

Also, the same year the company entered Fortune’s 2021 World’s Most Admired Companies list for the fourth year in a row, as the third company on the electronics sector list. At the Schneider Electric company, they make sustainable development a focal point. Over the last three years, they have saved more than 130 million tonnes of CO2 emissions for their clients in the sectors of construction, industry, infrastructure, and data centers.

“Our mission is clear and unwavering. We want to encourage all to make better progress and use fewer resources. We hope our motto Life is on takes root everywhere, and goes for everyone, at every moment”, notes Hermann.

He says that new trends, which they recognize and work on, concern four types of integrations:

  • Integration of supply management and electricity usage with automation aiming for better efficiency both in terms of energy usage and remaining business operations
  • Integration of smart devices with control systems, but also with cloud, to collect data from all company sectors and find the best way to use energy and other available resources
  • Integrated architecture; from the project design to construction and from operation to maintenance, accomplished through special software, which provides for integrated design, construction, operation, management, and installation maintenance, and the technology implementation such as digital twin for the industry sector, or artificial intelligence

The transition from the maintenance of each installation separately (from location to location) to comprehensive company management Speaking of the local market, Hermann says that Serbia has a very competent team and an excellent network of partners.

“We have ambitious plans for Serbia. But, first, let me remind you that our company has a high-tech Center for the research and development of software for management of the electric power distribution systems located in Novi Sad. There we have more than 1,000 engineers employed”, underlines Hermann adding that the Schneider Electric company’s priority is attracting and training of skillful personnel along with the people development.”

Text published in the Energy portal Magazine WATER RESOURCES.