Digitalization in the energy industry

Our latest report assesses the pace of digitalization in the energy industry and highlights the need to accelerate innovation in a changing landscape.

Executive summary

A changing industry


The reliability of our energy infrastructure has major consequences on not only society’s ability to properly function, but also on the sustainability of our planet.


According to Our World in Data, the energy sector (electricity, heat and transport) is responsible for a massive 73.2% of global greenhouse gas emissions.


New and unconventional players from beyond the energy industry are entering the market, increasing competitiveness for many OEMs and service providers.


The Covid-19 pandemic has further disrupted the industry due to heightened unpredictability.


Digitalization enables new business models, while also reducing costs, creating value and boosting the efficiency and responsiveness of energy systems.


Transformation of the value chain

Energy system transformation: From linear to integrated

The industry is now moving towards a more complex system with both centralized and decentralized generation sources and bi-directional power flows. Business models and the role of different players in the industry are also evolving as increasingly diverse energy sources all interact.

Potential savings through smart demand response

The innovation imperative

Smart demand response could provide 185GW of system flexibility globally, which could save USD 270 billion of investment in new electricity infrastructure that would otherwise be needed.

Net benefit (revenue minus costs) compared to the impact of digital initiatives

Bottom line impact

Businesses can also reap the benefits of digitalization. According to a study by McKinsey, energy companies that successfully applied digital experienced two to 10% improvements in production and yield and 10 to 30% improvements in cost.8 At scale, detailed digital data lowers the cost of monitoring assets, optimizes energy systems and enhances competitiveness and business performance.

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