Is It Possible for Energy Enterprises to Achieve Net Zero Carbon Goal While Surviving the Impending Recession?

by | Oct 31, 2022 | Blog

In the current arena, energy enterprises are engaged in two wars:

1. The battle to reach the net-zero carbon target by 2050

2. To survive the impending economic downturn!

Let’s start with the number one conflict.

The Earth is boiling!

Climate change is only anticipated to worsen in 2022 and the following years. For instance, there is a 93% possibility that one of the years between 2022 and 2026 would break the existing record, held by 2016, for the warmest year ever. 

In Spain and Portugal, the extreme heat in Europe caused wildfires. Low river levels made it more challenging to keep nuclear power towers cool and caused France’s electricity production to decline. After India and Pakistan were scorched by heat waves that broke records, a third of Pakistan was submerged by monsoon flooding, affecting an estimated 33 million people.

Why is the rate of global warming breaking records over time?

More than two-thirds of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are attributed to the energy industry, which is a significant driver of climate change. Coal, oil, and gas are the most significant contributors to global climate change, producing over 75% of all greenhouse gas emissions and almost 90% of all carbon dioxide emissions.

  • The energy industry accounts for 42% of global emissions directly or indirectly. *
  • Two-thirds of sector-specific carbon emissions are attributable to the upstream activity. *
  • To play its part in mitigating climate change, the energy sector must reduce its emissions by at least 3.4 gigatons of carbon-dioxide equivalent a year by 2050 —a 90% reduction in current emissions. *
  • With new devices connected to the internet every second, data centers utilize 1.8% of the country’s electricity and produce 0.3% of the world’s CO2 emissions.**
    Source: McKinsey * VentureBeat **

Data centers also contribute to global warming.

Over the past two years, the energy industry has tested the viability of digital technology, including analytics, process digitization, robotics, IoT, and AI/ML to automate and improve its processes. As a consequence of adopting these newer technologies, they are currently overwhelmed by the amount of data generated across multiple business units, such as research, expansion, transportation, and distribution. All of this data is stored in on-premise data centers and is growing at an unprecedented rate.

These data centers are harming the environment.

  • Data centers use 3% of the world’s electrical supply and emit around 2% of all greenhouse gas emissions.
    Source: Climate Neutral Group
  • Data centers’ energy use will contribute to 3.2% of the world’s carbon emissions by 2025, and they could use up to 5% of the world’s electricity. 
    Source: The Guardian
  • By 2040, digital data storage is predicted to account for 14% of global emissions, roughly the same as the US today.
    Source: BBC
  • Data centers have the fastest-growing carbon footprint of any area in the IT industry because the amount of energy they require doubles every four years.
    Source: ScienceDirect

It is clear that the goal of the energy industry is to reduce emissions by half by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 to prevent climate change’s worst consequences. This requires eliminating fossil fuels and reimagining energy sources to provide dependable, usable, sustainable, inexpensive, clean, and renewable alternatives. In addition, enterprises need to make smart decisions about how they store their data to reduce their on-premises data center carbon footprint. Blindly shutting down these data centers is not an option. The key is to gain knowledge of its data and analyze, categorize, and optimize it using a blend of file and object storage. A hybrid cloud is a possible solution.

Let’s now talk about the number 2 conflict – the upcoming recession and its impact on the energy industry!

The recent dramatic collapse in the price of oil, natural gas, and coal in the global market was partly caused by sharp drops in energy consumption, particularly in the OECD. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, headquartered in Paris (FR), is a global group of 38 nations committed to democracy and the market economy. Investments on the supply and demand sides are both impacted due to the forecasted recession. Oil and gas companies are drilling fewer wells and cutting back on refineries, pipelines, and power plants. Additionally, several planned projects have been postponed or canceled due to a lack of financing or downward revisions in expected profitability. 

In light of the projected recession, these scenarios appear to be just the beginning.

The recession may accidentally accelerate the energy sector’s quest for net-zero carbon emissions

Did you know that the Great Recession lowered carbon emissions significantly? According to a recent analysis published in the journal Nature Communications, the economic crisis was ultimately responsible for more than 80% of the total reduction in carbon emissions between 2007 and 2009. 

There is a possibility that the recession will act as a catalyst for the energy industry’s objective of reaching net-zero carbon emissions! How? Look inward into enterprise data.

Energy companies are looking for ways to cut costs in their business operations due to the predicted recession. This can be achieved by understanding enterprise data estate, allowing visibility into what, where, and how data is stored and used. Additionally, it will assist in categorizing data into hot, cold, ROT, and dark data, allowing for storing data in multiple tiers across file and object storage (cloud). Think about it – it’s a win-win solution that will help energy companies eliminate the need to store all data in on-premise data centers resulting in a significant cost reduction during the economic slowdown and accelerating their green energy efforts. A thorough understanding of data will also make it easier for enterprises to implement intelligent data management for data mobility, analysis, security, and compliance, allowing them to maximize the value of the data to make smart business decisions during this unprecedented time. 

Do more with less – 5 tips for managing data effectively and efficiently:

  1. Optimize: Decide what data types will be useful, where to get them and how to store them. Categorize, tag, index, analyze, optimize and migrate data across heterogeneous sources using context & content analytics and automated mobility. As a result, enterprises can tier and archive data based on hot, cold, ROT, and dark data, reducing data sprawl, consolidating data lakes and data centers, and optimizing storage costs. A deep understanding of the data estate can help decision-makers in the energy sector make wise and secure data consolidation and management decisions. Data Dynamics’ Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform allows smooth data consolidation and risk assessment by gaining knowledge about the data using AI/ML-based content and context analysis.
  2. Transform: 

The quickest and frequently least expensive route to decarbonization is for businesses to reduce their own scope 1 and 2 emissions through operational and energy efficiency measures. Businesses that monitor their carbon footprints with AI and machine learning can better employ predictive technology to accomplish and meet carbon emissions goals in a way that yields real results. A BCG study estimates that AI can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5% to 10%, corresponding to 2.6 to 5.3 gigatons of CO2. Modern energy executives can simultaneously solve the problems of reducing carbon footprints and achieving operational resiliency by digitizing operations and utilizing advanced analytics, AI, and machine learning capabilities in their upstream and downstream production systems and integrated applications. These technologies can assist businesses in reducing energy usage, improving energy efficiency within their own processes, and identifying the sources and drivers of emissions (both their own and those of suppliers and customers). Access to high-quality hygienic data is a critical success element for implementing AI, ML, and advanced analytics. By structuring the massive amount of unstructured data that energy companies generate in this digital era, they can make it accessible and usable across their organization. Data understanding, smart and secure consolidation, and in-depth data analysis are the instruments needed to filter high-quality data, allowing AI/ML and advanced analytics to be deployed efficiently.

  1. Secure: Secure content analytics technologies powered by AI offer a unique duality of addressing critical business challenges around the cost of operations and security of PII/sensitive data while bolstering business velocity and revenues. By melding existing workflows and data infrastructure with analytics, enterprises can achieve the benefits of more contextual decision-making, better customer experience, and risk reduction.
  1. Compliance: Regulatory authorities place high rules on firms in the energy sector to ensure the dependability of infrastructure associated with bulk power systems. These regulatory requirements cover data and communications that are essential to the day-to-day operations in addition to the generation and transmission of electricity. Enterprises in the energy sector can improve their data governance through data classification, immutable audit and compliance logs that enable data democratization, secured file data sharing, and proactive data security management.
  1. Cloudify: Enterprises can successfully migrate their data to various cloud storage tiers using an intelligent and data-driven approach. By analyzing data, enterprises can move BLOBs and infrequently accessed data to lower-tier (and lower-cost) and adopt pay-as-you-go storage. Also, cloud-based technologies, often referred to as global file systems or NAS storage replacements, will reap several benefits, such as infinite scalability, faster data retrieval, better data analytics, reduction in cost, and optimization of resources. Structuring unstructured data and tiering it based on usage presents a huge opportunity with four principal applications: cutting costs, fighting cyber threats, reducing carbon footprints, and adhering to compliance.

We are bringing two conflicts within the energy industry to a resolution.

Data Dynamics is a leading provider of enterprise data management solutions, helping organizations structure their unstructured data with their Unified Unstructured Data Management Platform. The Platform encompasses four modules – Data Analytics, Mobility, Security, and Compliance. Proven in over 300+ organizations, including 28 Fortune 100 and 2 of the five largest energy enterprises, the Platform is a one-stop solution that enables energy organizations to fully capitalize on the capabilities of unstructured and high-volume data and realize competitive advantages.

Click here to check out how Data Dynamics utilized the Azure File Migration Program to help one of the world’s seven multinational energy “supermajors” Fortune 50 companies accelerate its net zero emission goals while driving digital transformation.

With Data Dynamics, energy enterprise customers can eliminate the use of individual point solutions with siloed data views. Instead, they can utilize a single software platform to structure their data, unlock data-driven insights, secure data, ensure compliance and governance and drive cloud data management. 

Did you know?

Data Dynamics recently partnered with Microsoft to accelerate cloud adoption with Azure File Migration Program – zero license cost migrations into Azure!

Companies looking to accelerate their digital cloud transformation need a simple, accurate, and repeatable way to move their data into Azure. Microsoft has made this journey easier by creating the Azure File Migration Program. Azure is sponsoring the use of Data Dynamics’ StorageX Migrations to migrate data into Azure. StorageX is Data Dynamics’ award-winning unstructured data management solution that delivers policy-based data management with no vendor lock-in. It uses an automated, scalable, and policy-based engine to ensure intelligent and swift petabyte-scale migrations into Azure at ZERO license cost. It has robust security features such as automated access control and file security management. Organizations can now migrate their unstructured files, Hadoop, and object storage data into Azure at zero additional cost to the customer and no separate migration licensing. Customers can start the migration process with three simple steps. 

For more information about how Data Dynamics can assist you in re-innovating your business to become recession-proof and attain the net-zero carbon goal, visit www.datadynamics.com or contact us at solutions@datdyn.com I (713)-491-4298 I +44-(20)-45520800

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