The old and the new in the evolving energy industry

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The role of aging assets in the transition to new technology

The energy industry is considered a strategic sector in all developed countries. As energy demand grows along with the increasing global population, so do the challenges in meeting those needs, especially as it becomes more important to explore sustainable sources while reducing our carbon footprint.

A major challenge is the transition to new technology. And aging assets are not yet obsolete – they still have their place in the operational structure of many energy companies because they are proven and dependable. With safety becoming an even more significant concern than before, employees need to feel safe at work sites and companies must uphold reputations in the eyes of consumers. So, risks have to be accounted for in this transition as companies cannot afford a trial-and-error approach.

The CANDU reactors are an example of an aging asset that still holds great value for the companies operating them. Developed in Canada in the 1950s, these are pressurized heavy-water nuclear reactors that are recognized for their exceptional level of safety and efficiency, given their use of natural uranium and the reactors’ ability to be refueled while maintaining full operations. Their use is a testament to the current state of the energy industry, where companies will continue to leverage these traditional assets while exploring sustainable methods for the future.

One emerging area that has garnered attention in the sector is the development of Micro Modular Reactors (MMRs), a product of nuclear innovation that draws on operational insights from reactors in China, Japan, Germany, and the USA. Their potential for efficient and clean energy production with support for remote industrial applications makes them an interesting proposition.

A group of companies in Canada have partnered on a project to construct and operate an MMR plant. This is a sign of the excitement around the opportunities technology is offering energy companies now and in the future. Adopting these technologies and their offerings can also capture material benefits for enterprises, which can be used to fund additional innovation initiatives – giving rise to a positive feedback loop.

But for many companies, taking this essential step forward should not be at the cost of leaving behind the assets that fueled the journey to begin with. As the industry evolves, it will be equally important to make the most of the energy systems currently in place while welcoming the opportunities offered by emerging technology.

With our commitment to innovation, Capgemini is at the center of these developments. Through our extensive set of tools and long-running expertise, we help our partners capitalize on these opportunities and gain a foothold in the evolving energy industry.

Author details

Satish Surendran is a Vice President at Capgemini with the Energy & Utilities team.
He helps clients transform their business to deliver growth.
He can be reached at
satish.surendran@capgemini.com.

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