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Energy

Driving Switzerland’s energy transition through digitization

We are harnessing the transformational power of digital technologies to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon society.

Context

The transition to zero net emissions by 2050 has massive impacts on the entire energy system.

As with many other governments around the world, Switzerland has been defining policies to transition to a decarbonized economy and society to reduce the impacts of global warming. The substitution of the direct use of fossil energy with electricity generated from carbon-neutral energy sources is recognized as one of the fastest ways to reach this goal.

This transition increases electricity demand and requires new, decarbonized, and decentralized generation resources. However, it also necessitates massive adaptations to the long-haul transport and regional distribution grids. Grid operators will have to upgrade grid capacity to adapt to this new demand. But, grid capacity upgrades require massive capital expenditure and are, by nature, slow to realize.

To cope with the urgent requirements and Swiss ambitions to be carbon-neutral by 2050, decarbonized generation and grid capacity upgrades need to be complemented by a rapid digital transformation of the electrical grid. The grid of the future requires smarter grid operations, smarter management of distributed energy resources, and smarter customer engagement.

icon Switzerland net zero ambitions

    Switzerland committed to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% by 2030 compared to 1990 (source: Federal Act on Climate Protection Targets). The replacement of fossil fuels in transport and heating applications will lead to a sharp rise in electricity demand, from 62 TWh to 80-90 TWh by 2050, an increase of 25-40% depending on the scenario (source: Association of Swiss Electricity Companies).

icon Expanded, smart and modern grids are essential for the energy transition

    To reach global net zero emissions by 2050, a total of over 140 million km of electrical grids have to be refurbished or added worldwide, hence doubling the current grid length (source: International Energy Agency). In 2022, it was estimated that a net zero scenario for Switzerland would imply grid capacity expansions in the range of 60%-160%, hence more than twice as much as a “business as usual” scenario. But it was also estimated that a smarter grid would reduce this extra grid capacity by 20% to 60% (source: Swiss Federal Office of Energy).

How we help our clients

We aspire to revolutionize the energy sector in Switzerland and accelerate the energy transition with digital innovations by building an ecosystem of partners and integrating their cutting-edge digital platforms and technologies into our customers IT environments

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Modernizing the advanced metering infrastructure

The deployment of smart meters is the cornerstone of energy digitalization. But the real benefits of energy data is obtained when it is used to make the grid smarter, beyond the automation of meter-to-cash processes. This requires a smart and open architecture, and modern AMI components.

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Unlocking the power of energy data

While smart meters and grid monitoring devices can generate enormous amounts of data, this often translates into a “cacophony of data” which remains stuck in silos within dedicated applications. This prevents the transition to a true grid orchestration system where different components interoperate seamlessly. We implement the foundation for a modern grid orchestration system that makes data accessible and reduces the complexity of managing the power grid.

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Integrating grid-edge distributed energy resources

Batteries, electric vehicles, and small-scale distributed photovoltaics generation systems are increasingly installed behind the consumer meter. Local energy communities are also becoming popular and incentivized by regulators. The entire electricity value chain is transforming itself and consumers/prosumers are increasingly able to manage their demand and surplus generation through a complex system of interacting market players and digital components. We help distribution system operators integrating distributed energy resources management platforms and implementing their digital roadmap aligned to their business model shifts.

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Elevating the customer experience

Because the Swiss electricity market is only partially liberalized, households and small customers are still “captive customers”. It is not uncommon that little or no effort is done to elevate their experience. Helping energy customers now is the opportunity of a lifetime, as they are at the center of the race to an efficient use of energy, and their flexibility is crucial to balance the grid in an electrified society. We integrate modern customer insights solutions that inspire customers and engage them into a new energy journey.

We made it happen

Swiss energy revolution

Beyond automating the processes of collecting and managing energy data for billing purposes, we deliver solutions that allow energy companies to move towards data-driven operational and business models.

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How we stand out

We set the standard for digital innovation in energy

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Our ambition and expertise

As we commit to excellence, we continuously enhance our skills and deepen our understanding of the energy sector’s challenges. Our customers are leading the digital transformation of this industry, and we are therefore learning from their challenges every day. Aiming high, we're dedicated to accelerating the energy transition by supporting Swiss entities in their digitalization efforts.

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Establishing strong partnerships

In the race to net zero speed is essential. We establish strong partnerships with cutting-edge technology vendors to integrate in Switzerland technologies which have proven to be successful in other territories.

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Reliable foundations

We are building our activities for the energy industry on the solid foundations of our existing digital consulting activities, our software development factory, and our efficient methodologies and operations. These foundations allowed us to repeatedly, consistently and successfully deliver 150+ customer projects every year.

Get in touch with our expert

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César Gallego
Associate Partner,
Head of Energy Practice
César Gallego is Associate Partner at OWT, in charge of the Energy practice and leads multiple transformation projects resulting from the energy transition and the digitalization of the energy sector. Before joining OWT, César held a senior management position by one of the largest Swiss electrical utilities. César started his career in the global telecommunications industry advising multinational firms from multiple verticals on their digital transformation journeys, and delivering large ICT infrastructure managed services projects in the areas of networking, IoT, cybersecurity, cloud and collaboration. He holds a MSc degree in electrical engineering and a PhD degree from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology of Lausanne (EPFL), and an Executive Certificate of Advanced Studies in Strategies and Innovation from the International Institute of Management in technology from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.
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