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Robotics in the Power Industry, Global, 2018

Robotics in the Power Industry, Global, 2018

This insight provides a case study on five robotics applications in the energy industry. These applications range across the industry value chain. This insight also covers the future trends and provides an overview on the major participants in this field. The need for implementing solutions such as robotics arises when customers see the value in its application. This need is present especially in tasks or processes that are repetitive in nature. While automotive and manufacturing industries are prominent users of robotic solutions, the energy industry is slowly finding its feet in robotics. The energy industry ecosystem is currently undergoing a transformation toward a decentralized, competitive, and efficient model in which generators from the supply side and generators from the demand side are made to compete for the same megawatt produced.

With such transformations come opportunities as well as challenges. Technology has advanced at such pace that the case for implementing robotic solutions in the energy industry has risen and needs to be addressed. The five case studies covered in this insight provide an overview of the current challenges present in certain areas of the industry and show how robotics indeed is a better solution for the existing problems. With potential cost and operational benefits due to functionalities such as remote operation, ease of maintenance, and operational features, use of robotics certainly increases the efficiency of a process.

For example, transmission and distribution asset maintenance is a necessity and involves an amount of risk particularly in the case of high-voltage assets. Robotics provides a way of eliminating this risk by its simplicity and provides the owner with a certain amount of ease when it comes to operating it remotely to achieve the same result in a more efficient manner.

Frost & Sullivan expects robotics to disrupt the energy industry, particularly in transmission and distribution and primarily renewable energy asset maintenance to start with. The advent and advances of technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things (IoT) will further strengthen the case for the use of robotics and increase its operational potential. A concrete regulation is absent currently and this poses a major challenge. However, Frost & Sullivan expects regulation consultations on robotics to begin by 2021 and to be in place by 2025. There is thus a need for participants across the energy value chain to assess the case for robotics and prepare for the future by making investments where they deem fit.

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