The power industry is facing significant restructuring in the years to come. KONGSBERG has solutions that will allow the industry to work in a smarter way, according to Andreas Jagtøyen, head of the energy division at Kongsberg Digital. 

  • Ove Ronny Haraldsen
    Group Communication Manager

Renewables and Utilities is a separate business unit within the energy division, delivering digital solutions and services to customers in the power industry. Renewables focuses on the upstream companies, the producers of electrical power, while Utilities focuses on the midstream companies, the distribution network operators, who make their money by transporting electrical power from the manufacturer to the consumer. 

- Our solutions must help to ensure that our customers have complete control over the operation and maintenance of their assets and that they can reduce their operating costs by between 20-30% over time, depending slightly on the systems they have been using. Current solutions within the power industry are very fragmented and in most cases unsuitable to support future maintenance models based on current condition.

- Which markets are you looking at?

- We aim to take international market positions, but our focus so far has mainly been on Norway, Northern Europe, the United States and India.

 - How have the results of this focus been so far?  

- Even though we’re still in a relatively early phase in our focus on the power industry, we’ve already succeeded in obtaining exciting contracts with both Norwegian and international power companies. Most of these contracts are centred on the further development of our own systems, but we’ve also started developing pure commercial operating systems. 

"Power industry is facing significant restructuring in the years to come."

- Within Renewables, for example, we’ve signed a contract with Statoil for the development of a condition checking system for their HyWind floating wind turbine concept. We have a contract with Fred. Olsen Renewables and Statoil for the development of a complete wind farm solution that can replace existing data collection and turbine monitoring systems, as well as a contract for the development of a complete offshore wind farm solution along with a major European player. At Utilities, we’re working on a lot of exciting opportunities.

- How will your markets evolve in the future?

 - We think that the power industry is facing significant restructuring in the years to come. The industry has traditionally made large investments in new, expensive assets such as power lines and production facilities, but has not focused to the same extent on obtaining more capacity and lower operating costs from existing assets through the modernisation of work processes, advanced data analysis and the use of accurate decision support tools. 

- Factors which will also contribute to an increased demand for restructuring and which already greatly affect the industry include the statutory deregulation of power sales, the increase in non-controllable power production from solar and wind power plants, as well as a significant change in consumption patterns, partly due to charging a growing number of electric cars. The market for solutions which can optimise the use of existing infrastructure, reduce maintenance costs and contribute to managing the large variations in the power grid will increase significantly going forward, and we are well positioned to take a significant market share.  

- In which direction will Renewables and Utilities move in the future?  

- Through the investment we’re currently making in our digital platform, Kognifai, we’re seeing good opportunities to help our customers with more than just applications for optimising the operation of their power systems. In the coming years, the ecosystem around Kognifai will make available a large number of applications and services from other industry segments that KONGSBERG works in, and these will contribute significantly towards increasing our business opportunities within the power industry.

- We’re also seeing opportunities to use our skills and products to contribute to the building of advanced control rooms with the capability to remotely monitor and control advanced assets such as turbines and grid components.  

- Are we experiencing a revolution in terms of energy supply, or will this take place in the future?

 - I think we’re facing an evolution rather than a revolution. The power industry has been accustomed to making investments on an extremely long-term scale - 30 to 40 years - and naturally it takes time to complete major restructuring. However, we are seeing large international companies with strong brands such as Google and Facebook showing an interest in the sector, and this will undoubtedly contribute to faster restructuring. I think we’ll see a more dynamic and competitive industry in about 5-10 years’ time.