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Sensors are allowing us to understand elements of the built environment that we didn't have access to before. And, that knowledge will help steer decisions that will lead to better efficiency and productivity. In this case, saving billions in utilities. How will that impact the product you are creating?

A common saying suggests “you can never have too much of a good thing”, but this is not true when it comes to supplying electricity. In fact, oversupplying electricity to a particular district can lead to enormous wastage.

Unlike money, excess electricity is not easily stored in wallets and banks. To ensure grid stability, unused electricity is often unloaded into the ground and subsequently lost.

According to data produced by GE Digital, the energy industry can save more than US$1 trillion worth of electricity and other financial benefits simply by better matching electricity supply to demand, through the use of digital power solutions.

That is, the process of using thousands of sensors to collect data across homes and factories. Complex digital analytics are then used to understand the data, and inform engineers where instances of electricity undersupply, and oversupply, are taking place. Power plants can also adjust supply ahead of time, based on user patterns and demographic trends.

According to Luis Gonzalez, chief digital officer for Asia Pacific, GE Power Digital Solutions, many power producers today purchase power based on economic forecasts, and not actual consumption. “Sometimes, there’s oversupply for the next 20 years because they’re being cautious, or undersupply because there’s no budget,” he shares with Eco-Business in a recent interview.

A community that sees a population growth of 20 percent, for example, could see its energy demand grow by more than 20 percent due to changing energy consumption habits, leading to an undersupply. Thus, live data is needed to meet electricity demand accurately, and do better predictions on the investment and performance required from power assets says Gonzalez.

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