Thematic Track Session 4.4

Advanced Digital Solutions for Industrial Decarbonization

The industrial sector has a been a major investor in the use of new technologies including advanced digital technologies, machine learning, automation, and, more recently, generative artificial intelligence (AI). The use of digital technologies has led to improved productivity and lower operating costs. Yet, their application also has an immense potential to supercharge energy savings and decarbonization efforts across the sector. A recent study by McKinsey found that innovative digital technologies and generative AI can not only significantly accelerate the implementation of nearly half of key initiatives essential to reach net zero by 2050, but can also substantially contribute to reducing their cost with the potential of hundreds of millions of dollars in savings per year. However, as with any new technology, there is need for research and development, testing and piloting, and ultimately, regulation. How can AI benefit the sector and what are the upcoming opportunities for private sector investment? Where is it being applied today and what are the challenges and risks? How are cyber security risks being addressed? How can governments support demonstration and deployment of new and innovative solutions? What financial assistance is required? What are some other upcoming advanced digital technologies in the energy sector, and how are projects that apply these technologies being financed?

The session will feature C-suite-level speakers representing some of the world’s most innovative companies in the field of smart and digital solutions for industrial decarbonization, including ABB Motion, Aboitiz, Black and Veatch, Metron, and Schneiter Electric. Speakers will share real-life examples in key hard-to-abate sectors, including cement, steel, glass, etc., underlining the exciting message that hopes for AI and climate change mitigation cannot be emphasized enough.

The solutions and technologies presented combine visualization technologies, digital twins, the Internet of Things (IoT), Big Data, and AI, where effective, to accelerate industrial decarbonization. The presentations are followed by a facilitated exciting exchange among the thought leaders discussing questions whether AI will be the silver bullet or not? What the fundamental difference is in data-driven as compared to engineering-driven solutions to turbo-charge energy efficiency improvements? The discussion will also explore what is the status of uptake of digital and smart solutions for industrial decarbonization in developing Asia and how to step up the uptake rates? How are initiatives threatened by cyberrisks?

Sufficient time will be accorded to critical questions from the audience.

ADB will be moderating the session and UNIDO will set the scene.


11:00 - 11:05 a.m.

Introductory Remarks by Moderator

Annika Seiler, Principal Energy Specialist, ADB

11:05 - 11:13 a.m.

Scene Setter

Peter Warren, Accelerate-to-Demonstrate (A2D) Facility Manager, UNIDO

11:13 - 11:53 a.m.

Round of Presentation of Digital Solutions by Technology Providers

Yatin Premchand, Managing Director, Black and Veatch, Singapore

Vincent Sciandra, CEO, METRON

Pei Song Chua, Asia Pacific Business Development Manager, Schneider Electric

Apryl Herrera, Country Business Head, ABB Motion

Luis F. Gonzalez, Chief Operating Officer for Power and Head of Applied Research, Aboitiz

11:53 a.m. - 12:08 p.m.

Panel Discussions

12:08 - 12:23 p.m.


12:08 - 12:23 p.m.

Conclusion and Lessons Learned from the session

Zhang Yi, A2D Facility, UNIDO