Asia’s appetite for digitalisation is fast outpacing other regions across the globe, as it becomes a testbed for new technologies.
From digital banks to AI-powered super apps, there is a rising demand for energy needed to power the growing number of data centres making this digitalisation push happen. Globally, the ICT industry is expected to consume 20 per cent of the world’s energy by 2025 and account for 14 per cent of total emissions by 2040.
Yet, the solution is not merely to provide more power; a number of other factors are further complicating the management of power for businesses in Asia.
Governments – regardless of whether they belong to developed or developing ones, are starting to recognise the need to pivot towards renewables. They are rolling out large-scale wind and solar projects across the region, resulting in cleaner but more fluctuations in energy production.
Driving this awareness is the growing climate crisis which looms overhead, with natural hazards such as wildfires and floods increasing in frequency and posing a greater threat to the stable production and delivery of power.
In order to better prepare themselves to face these power management challenges, more businesses will likely explore strategic investments in technologies that not only reduce the impact of downtime but also bring down energy consumption and achieve their sustainability targets.
The current state of this preparedness varies across countries. Developed markets such as Australia and Taiwan are leading the conversation around energy transition, with growing government support and regulation to encourage technology adoption to support the transition toward a lower-carbon energy future.
While their developing market counterparts are taking the right steps and catching up quickly with ambitious renewable energy projects, many still face infrastructure challenges that stand in the way of widespread adoption and transformation. In many such countries, the ability to deploy emerging technologies such as energy storage and intelligent power management software still has some way to go.
Regardless of a country’s readiness for energy transition, gaps in understanding still exist across the public and private sectors even though the solutions to tackle these challenges are available today. Much more sector education needs to be done to help various stakeholder groups from end-users to regulators understand the capabilities and limitations, commercial aspects as businesses chart their transformation journey.
Technologies such as Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS), Lithium-ion batteries and smart grids that guide the efficient management of power, will shift from “good to have”, to “must-have”, as climate change moves further up the boardroom agenda over the next couple of years.
In a post-covid business landscape, connected customers are increasingly expecting always-on accessibility, alongside constant innovation, and stakeholder accountability. To achieve this, businesses will need to carefully align their power management strategy with their digitalisation priorities and sustainability objectives.
This integrated planning approach then needs to be combined with government engagement to establish and refine technology adoption best practices and standards.
Energy transition is a collaborative process and once the right strategy and support is in place, more businesses in Asia be able to build a resilient power infrastructure that is ready to take on a more sustainable digital future.