It’s no secret that the energy industry is at an inflection point with respect to energy transmission (and has been for a while now). This period of change is being driven by the twin forces of global rising energy demand, which an October 2022 ExxonMobil report said is likely to hit 660 quadrillion BTU by 2050, and an ever-increasing push toward more sustainable and efficient energy transmission and generation.
Evidence of the second factor was all over the messaging at DistribuTECH in San Diego the first week of February, and one of the most interesting stories there came from Bentley Systems and its drive toward a more reliable and flexible grid.
The company was showcasing its grid visualization tools, including incorporating digital twin systems and remote sensing capabilities for maintenance and outage prevention, among other uses.
Bentley Systems is, at its core, a software company that it says is dedicated to providing ways for energy generation and transmission companies to improve upon and replace infrastructure as a key way of addressing climate change and other environmental challenges, while still sustaining the economy and industry.
This infrastructure-first approach is a key to the company’s belief that flexibility is critical to resiliency, but it’s not the only factor, of course. Bentley is also pushing private LTE and mesh networks for intelligent connectivity and the leveraging of smarter software solutions like digital twin and IoT data analytics for measurement and critical insight into system-wide risk factors and potential efficiencies.
Such a software layer upon hard infrastructure is a smart framework for solutions in our energy hungry and environmentally delicate global economy. This kind of strategic thinking will very likely drive not just energy transmission and generation, but every industrial and enterprise business into the next thirty years. At least – those industries that want to survive.