IDCA NewsAll IDCA News
10 Jan 2023
Metaverse and Digital ESG Can Drive Profound Change for Utilities
The Spanish global energy giant Iberdrola, one of the absolute top clean-energy utility companies in the world, is working to take a controlling interest in Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) to modernize it and accelerate the state's transition from heavily fossil-fuel power generation.
I live in this state: with endless winds on its deserts and prairies, and more than 300 days of sunlight each year, renewable energy is an obvious choice here. Yet 64% of New Mexico's electricity is still generated from coal and natural gas.
Iberdrola is already primarily responsible for generating 8GW of renewable energy across 24 states, and has achieved dramatic improvements in the grids of New England and Upper State New York, through its 81.5% ownership of Avangrid. The company is demonstrating every day the massive opportunity for the newly true “Layer Zero” of the Smart Digital Infrastructure Universe.
Power transmission and distribution lives right next door to power generation, in its need to sharply improve power-grid efficiencies and resiliency. A great, unfortunate example of this comes from New Mexico's neighbor, Texas. The fiasco of Texas's massive outages of a year ago brought into sharp relief that state's continued massive corruption of its primary utility and its islanding itself from smart regional grids. Things haven't improved there in the near year since.
All Metaverse-Era Technologies On Deck!
It's right here where Metaverse-era technologies AI, blockchain, tokenization, Web3, and AR (digital twinning) can have great effect. As evidence, we can look at a video clip from Hitachi, which has managed to combine its cloud, IoT edge, at Metaverse tech directly to something seemingly as disparate as the power grid, IoT edge and both sustainability and ESG (Social Innovation). What I call Digital ESG.
One nagging detail in this video: It isn't "digitizing" but "digitalizing"that makes the difference. Knowing the difference between the terms makes all the difference. The video clip shows a bit of both.
An example of Digital ESG's potential in the utilities world came from here in Santa Fe recently: a power outage lasting four hours was caused by a tree falling on a power line in mountainous terrain. It took PNM most of those hours just to find the downed line. It took under an hour to fully restore power.
Imagine, If You Will
In contrast, this sort of incident could be remotely sensed, monitored and fed telemetrically to be made visible instantly to a network operations center (NOC) operator 200 miles away. Further, an easily captured digital twin of an entire power line path with all utility polls and transformers could show in real-time the location and what was damaged.
Knowing exactly what the damage cause and extent was on an iPad could have prepared the work crew in transit for exactly what needed to be done. Blockchain would have permanently recorded everything for data posterity on a ledger. Web3 would have rendered the digital twin as 3D.
So we can connect the dots between all the pieces of Digital Infrastructure and the Metaverse technologies that bring it alive.
Follow us on social media: