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Schneider Electric, others echo need for technology in ensuring energy security

In order to solve issues around electricity disruption, crude oil price volatility and energy sustainability, Schneider Electric has emphasized the need for deployment of technologies to ensure energy security and sustainable development in Africa’s biggest economy.

The effect of energy insecurity has been reported to have a ripple effect on the economy as all sectors of the economy appear to be a direct or an indirect end-user of energy.

At this year’s Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), an annual conference organized by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria, Ajibola Akindele, General Manager Sub-Saharan Africa for Schneider Electric Process Automation bemoaned the general lack of energy efficiency in Nigeria – getting energy to the right place at the right time which can be solve with the right technologies.

He averred that technology is an enabler and not an end itself, noting that the use of technology helps in good decision-making, transparency, increased production, and cost reduction.

Read also: Quest: Championing fresh ideas in Nigeria’s energy sector

Akindele also noted that there are several technologies available today, which can help players in the oil and gas industry to make better decisions, ensure transparency, increase energy production and reduce cost.

He listed predictive analytics, digital twins, Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, robotics, machine learning, blockchain, big data and drones deployment as some of the technologies that will continue to matter in the future with respect to operations in the oil and gas industry.

“These technologies help firms with better decision-making and structural transparency,” Akindele said at the event’s panel session with the theme “Energy Security and Sustainable Development in Nigeria”.

According to Akindele, some of the challenges that may affect the Oil and Gas companies from adopting these technologies include costs, lack of infrastructure backbone and exposure to cyber-attacks.

Concerning the challenge of upfront costs, Akindele suggested that these technology services can be provided on a subscription model thereby reducing upfront costs.

He also stated that cyber-attacks, while becoming increasingly common, can be mitigated by applying the appropriate technology solutions and constantly educating employees on the threat of cyber-attacks and ensuring vigilance within the organisation.

He urged organisations to embrace the use of digital technologies where possible for operational efficiency improvements.

Akindele noted that energy security is about availability, accessibility and affordability, adding that it is also about meeting today’s challenges without negating the requirement for tomorrow.

“The use of technology has a big role to play in ensuring energy security and sustainable development in Nigeria,” Akindele concluded.

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