By Jens Albom, Nordic Industry Lead, Utility



With an ever-increasing pressure to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adopt renewable energy sources, sustainability becomes a crucial factor for the sector’s survival and growth. But why, where and how do you implement sustainable initiatives in your organization?

When all is said and done, sustainability is not just about satisfying consumer demand for cleaner energy. It’s also about ensuring long-term profitability and stability in an industry undergoing technological and political changes.

The downside of not moving in a sustainable direction goes far beyond ideological principles. It’s simply about keeping up with the times before they run away from you.

“It’s the right thing to do.”

What is sustainability really? In a "Word Cloud", based on random interviews, “climate” and “environment” will probably stand out, but sustainability in its true sense actually means “The ability to last over time”. Something that does not become obsolete. That it can be reproduced. And in a global perspective, climate and environment are a good indicator of whether something is sustainable or not.

We hardly step on anyone’s toes by claiming that the energy sector historically has contributed to quite a few emissions, unfortunate impacts on flora and fauna, and other disturbances of the climate and the natural balance. Research and climate change have shown us that it is not sustainable, and the industry itself is the first to admit it.

Fortunately, the industry is probably also the one most concerned with solving the problem by transitioning energy production from fossil to fossil-free – and quickly. Extraction of fossil fuels – which cause global warming, air and water pollution, and destruction of habitats – is now gradually being phased out, and energy production from renewable energy sources such as solar power, wind power, hydropower and even nuclear power is gaining ground.

It helps to reduce environmental impacts in both the short and long term and is an important initiative for the climate, the environment and demand. It is simply sustainable. But good intentions alone do not make you sustainable. First, you need innovation.

Technology accelerates the green transition

It is not an easy task to extract renewable energy. Natural resources are often characterized by being inaccessible, powerful and risky to refine. It requires modern and robust technology just to create energy.

Once the technology and infrastructure are in place to extract the energy, the big question becomes: "How can you streamline and optimize the lifecycle from production to distribution and consumption?" Here too, the answer is technology.

Sensors and IoT devices can monitor production and consumption in real time and identify areas where it is possible to simplify or optimize processes. It can lead to significant energy savings and reduce the need to build new power plants. Efficiency improvements also help to reduce environmental impact by minimizing the need for extraction of raw materials and reducing the amount of waste.

Energy storage technologies, especially batteries, are also becoming increasingly important for integrating renewable energy into our energy systems. Solar and wind energy depend on weather conditions, and energy storage allows us to store surplus energy when production is high and use it when needed. Batteries are becoming cheaper and more efficient, making it possible to increase the use of renewable energy.

Another important aspect of technology’s role in sustainable energy is the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize energy systems. You can read more about this in the second article in this series.

Sustainable energy is profitable energy

It should now be clear that a sustainable focus for the energy sector is both necessary and possible. The icing on the cake is that it is actually also profitable.

In the future, there will be increasingly stringent sustainability requirements for the energy sector as a result of increasing environmental awareness and legislative initiatives. The Paris Agreement (2030), Green Deal (2050) and a number of other initiatives are forcing the industry to introduce greener solutions. Good for the environment, but also good for the bottom line.

Sustainability initiatives are both subsidized and well rewarded by the authorities, who want to accelerate development. In addition, sustainability is becoming increasingly important for attracting investments. Serious investors are now increasingly looking for companies that not only deliver short-term returns, but also take responsibility for their environmental and social impacts.

Companies that cannot demonstrate sustainable business practices, therefore, risk losing access to capital and being marginalized in the market.

The companies that dare to invest early in sustainable technologies and practices will not only be able to meet these future requirements but also set the standard for the rest of the industry. The costs may be high in the short term, but you will be well positioned when demand for renewable energy increases and regulations tighten.

Rarely has the phrase “Don’t become a dinosaur,” been more appropriate.

This article is the fourth in the series on future energy technology. Read the previous articles here:

Article 1: The energy technology of the future: The express train picks up speed

Article 2: The energy technology of the future: Artificial Intelligence

Article 3: The energy technology of the future: Is your business secure?

Want to learn more?


Contact our Sales Director, John T. Hummelgaard, for a discussion about your company's digitization.


Phone: +45 2510 2050