Disruptive Global Pandemic Calls for Business Innovations in the Asia-Pacific Energy and Environment Industry, 2020
Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) has brought in new opportunities and business ideas in the midst of economic disruption. The entire value chain in energy and environment industries is affected and it is almost certain that most industry players will register a decline in growth rates in 2020. However, some immediate and mid- to long-term opportunities are present, and it is imperative that companies take ownership to thread through such trying times with the available opportunities. The need for various innovative and redefined digital platforms and new business models will be more important in the next 1 to 2 years.
Immediate impacts to the energy and environment industries are:
• Overall sluggish growth in 2020
• Local suppliers to benefit due to travel lockdowns
• Post-pandemic to call for safety measures in buildings
• Waste management will prevail due to rising clinical waste and disposal of wearables (face mask, etc.)
• Utilities will continue to be innovative in improving resource supply (electricity and water) in supporting activities that will lead to an economic rebound
Some of the growth opportunities present in the energy and environment industries are IR 4.0 in Oil & Gas, whereby enormous value can be unlocked through the integration of digital technologies such as 3D printing, 3D printing, artificial intelligence (AI), drones, digital twins, and predictive analytics across the value chain. Another growth opportunity is in wind power generation, where there will be positive outlook in wind power generation as many countries move towards offshore wind farms; this market will be led by Taiwan and China. In the microgrid segment, behind-the-meter application will come into sharp focus in the ASEAN region in 2020. Innovative business models for this segment will help power rural areas in the region. Co-working space and flexible workspace will bring mid- to long-term business opportunities. Heightened hygiene and security practices will force operational innovation and technology adoption in this segment; Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing region in flexible workspace management. In conclusion, most growth opportunities will bring renewed focus on technologies that promote efficiency and operational cost reduction. With growing need for digitalization and increasing prominence of operational efficiency, technology OEMs have to explore new business offerings and/or expand their roles across the industry value chain in order to stay competitive and relevant to their customers. Reprioritization of business strategies is inevitable for all industry participants, and companies will focus on industry improvements or advancements with digitization and other immediate quick-wins.
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