December 5, 2019 — Industry Trends
Renewable energy boardrooms warned to prioritise actionable data or accept lower returns
The majority of data managers say their Boards do not truly understand their work, while more than a third of Boardrooms still view data-driven value as a ‘nice to have’.
Gothenburg, 5th December 2019 – Renewable energy asset owner and investor boardrooms must get to grips with new data opportunities or face the consequence of productivity and financial losses. That was the verdict of managers and technicians working on the data frontline at almost 100 global renewable energy companies, who gathered in Gothenburg last week for the 5th annual Greenbyte Forum.
With no subsidies, no full service maintenance warranties and an exponential growth of interactivity with additional hardware such as batteries, delegates agreed that industry executives who fail to understand and prioritise evolving data management strategies will see the returns from tomorrow’s renewable energy assets decline rapidly.
Tellingly, less than a third (28%) of delegates felt that their Board truly understands the role their team plays within their organisation. The majority (42%) said that industry executives have only a partial understanding of their role, with a further 21% witnessing only surface-level understanding of data management from the boardroom.
Delegates, data managers gathered in Sweden from as far afield as South Africa, went on to identify that many executive teams are yet to fully appreciate the connection between effective data management and the overall financial performance of assets. More than a third (35%) felt that data-driven value is still perceived as a ‘nice to have’ in the boardroom. A further 36% stated that their Board either assigns no financial value to their work or fails to give it any serious oversight.
Greenbyte, a developer and enabler of smart data software to drive productivity in renewables, organises the annual Greenbyte Forum so that its customers and wider industry contacts can share insight and learning from the frontline, hone their own data management skills and network among peers.
The Forum is one of a number of Greenbyte initiatives seeking to stimulate collaboration and openness in renewable energy data in order to accelerate the fight against climate change with code. Last month, it launched Greenbyte Marketplace, an industry-first move that opens up performance data on the Greenbyte platform to third-party software developers in order to drive software innovation that meets the evolving demands of asset and portfolio operators in the renewable energy sector and fast-tracks the development of highly specialised software applications.
“It has been a real privilege to host so many of the world’s leading renewable energy owners and operators here in Gothenburg”, said Jonas Corné, CEO, Greenbyte. “While our corner of the renewable energy world may still be young, it was quite clear from the many discussions and case studies at Greenbyte Forum 2019 that data managers and the investments businesses are making to upgrade their data management strategies are starting to have a real impact the world over in terms of increased output and decreased emissions.
“Actionable data is the key to asset efficiency in today’s renewable energy market. Simply accessing data from across your portfolio is no longer enough. Boardrooms must also be equipped to understand and act upon that information.
“The pace of change is startling, the determination to make a positive difference in the fight against climate change is absolute, and I have no doubt that when our customers and colleagues gather again in a year’s time, we will hear even more about how their work is helping to transform their organisation’s financial performance”.
Last week, Greenbyte was also named as one of the most impactful renewable energy brands in Europe, as set out in the Renewables Reputation Index Europe 2019.
Greenbyte Forum 2019 delegate poll results in full
Q1: Does your Board truly understand what you and your team do?
Yes, fully = 28%
Partially = 42%
Surface level only = 21%
Not a clue = 9%
Q2: How does your executive team perceive and measure the financial impact of proper data management within your organisation?
There’s full alignment with overall financial performance = 29%
It’s a nice-to-have: the icing on the financial performance cake = 35%
We’re set firm KPIs but with limited Board oversight = 18%
They do not really assign any value to it = 18%
Q3: What impact have evolving data management strategies had on the overall financial performance of your organisation?
They’ve transformed our profitability = 6%
They are an increasing component of profitability = 33%
We’ve invested in data management and are waiting to realise the returns = 38%
Don’t know = 23%
Q4: To what extent do you feel your daily work will be impacted by AI/machine learning over the next 5 years? (scale of 0-5, 5 high)
1 = 0%; 2 = 1%; 3 = 20%; 4 = 38%; 5 = 41%