Session 4: Disrupt or Be Disrupted – Digital Darwinism and Its Impact on Energy Systems

May 8th, 2018

During this session, industry leaders, visionaries and experts will present their ideas and experience in the context of a transformational trend called “Digital Darwinism.” Digital Darwinism is defined as the societal and technology adoption that is evolving (often leap frogging) much faster than the business, regulation/policy ecosystem. That means, historical, large technology, and business investments are becoming “obsolete” across the entire value chain (demand – supply) long before its intended end of lifetime. What is the societal, community, business, industry “cost” of NOT embracing the future? For this session, the focus will be on trends within and outside the energy sector, and highlight the risk of past and current development approaches and new approaches that are “future proof.”


Session Chair: Bartosz Wojszczyk, President and CEO Decision Point Global


Bernie Jones, Director, Smart Villages Research Group, UK

Smart Village vs Smart City: A Decentralized Development Alternative for the 21st Century

Reliable cheap energy can transform communities, whether rich or poor, in developing or industrialized countries and regions. Based on data and information gathered from the global network of technologists and entrepreneurs with whom we have interacted over the past 6 years (especially those based throughout Asia), this presentation will present a model for how sustainable energy can be combined with cutting edge technological innovations that are either already available or in development to provide local decentralized services and opportunities for local industry and wealth creation. Examples will be provided of these innovative technologies, especially from Asian innovators, and illustrate how they can be combined in novel and disruptive patterns.

Shah Haider, General Manager, Chittagong Rural Electric Cooperative 3

Digital Disruption of Utilities: Going Towards Green

Digital disruption is the change that occurs when new digital technologies and business models affect the value proposition of existing goods and services – in this case, that of the energy utilities. The utility industry is being challenged by new energy businesses that are dynamic and diversified, even as it is under pressure from consumers and regulators to reduce costs and make operations more efficient. This presentation will explore how future electrical utilities will need to serve their customers . It will also review the potential of an Asian Super Grid, which could facilitate deep integration of renewable infrastructure and information and communications technologies (ICT).

Thomas Chrometzka, Director Renewable Energy, Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

New Energy Nexus Southeast Asia: Why Startups will be Changing the Energy Game in the Region

Technology and cost are no longer the main limitation to fostering new energy solutions; rather it is the absence of innovative business, software, finance and service models that are holding back its deployment. With its deeply ingrained centralized and top-down structures, the energy sector is not able to adapt fast enough, and likely to be disrupted. Start ups are poised to bring needed innovation, potentially disruption, in the form of enabling software solutions to the energy sector. New Energy Nexus Southeast Asia is a smart energy start-up support initiative launched by GIZ and the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF), which will create start-ups that can change the energy game in the region. This presentation will show first results and the ambition of this cutting edge programs as well as the mode of delivery.

Yogendra Patwardhan, Vice-President, Business Development - Emerging Technologies, ABB

Opportunities for Digitalization in the Power Sector

It will require creativity and robust foresight to address immediate energy sector needs while also planning for future needs in an ever evolving social and technical landscape. The latest technologies in electricity generation, assessment and planning tools such as GIS mapping and Big Data, as well as the digitalization of many existing technologies, can meet this challenge. This presentation will discuss the opportunities that digitalization brings to address emerging power sector challenges. Digitalization enables unprecedented visibility of a customer’s assets and systems and the efficient harnessing of huge volumes of data. Digitalization enables the easy integration of IT and OT systems, thereby enabling operators in control centers to interpret key insights in real time and, as a result, prevent critical failures.