The energy sector is a very important part of the Spanish economy due to the fact that it accounts for around 4% of the country’s GDP, attracts significant investment, is a major job creator and generates wealth.
During a health crisis like the one we are currently living through, the energy sector takes on an extremely important role, ensuring that basic services, such as the supply of electricity and gas for hospitals, homes, telecommunications operators, etc., and fuel for transport and logistics, are provided at all times.
As a result of the pandemic, the sector has seen a sharp decline in demand for energy, a significant drop in energy prices, a slowdown in ongoing activities and changes to consumer habits and behaviour. However, energy companies have stepped up to the challenge, ensuring the supply of energy whilst continuing to make progress in terms of their environmental commitments and focusing on digitalisation as an essential tool for getting through the crisis.
As such, despite the challenging circumstances, they have provided an uninterrupted service since the beginning of the state of emergency, something which has been made possible in large part by the great lengths they have gone to over recent years to go digital.
Looking to the post-COVID era and with the aim of playing a central role in the country’s recovery, companies in the sector are focusing on pushing full steam ahead with digital transformation, something which brings with it a transformation in organisational culture, their aim being to implement 100% digital processes and accelerate the automation of their operations.
The digital transformation initiatives we are seeing in the sector generally involve the following:
- Accelerating the transition of clients to the digital world, as well as innovating in products and services in order to offer customers maximum flexibility and ensure their needs are met at all times.
- Adopting cutting-edge ICT technology which expands and enhances smart grids and assets, as well as their operating processes, and maximise the use of the data they provide. Technology such as smart grids and smart meters, IoT, big data and edge analytics based on cloud and microservice architecture are set to play an important role in the future.
- Investing in cybersecurity in an exponentially digitalised world, in which an ever-increasing number of critical process are automated. Companies are placing more and more importance on having up-to-date and tested contingency and business continuity plans in place in various areas.
- An effort by companies and institutions to contribute to the green transition and reduce greenhouse emissions. This is particularly important, as the European Commission and Parliament have stated that digitalisation and the Green Deal must be a central part of the recovery plan which is being prepared.
To sum up, companies in Spain’s energy sector are set to continue to push ahead in terms of the digital and energy transitions, responding to the challenges this involves, including a transformation of their organisational culture caused by a change to their work model and the way they are run, the development of new, more flexible ways of interacting with customers, accelerating the automation of their operations, streamlining their operational risk management processes and responding effectively to cybersecurity threats, whilst continuing to offer effective solutions to social and environmental challenges through technology and innovation.