About the event

Main challenges for the energy industry lie within IT

The 3rd Federal IT Forum of Russia’s Electric Power Industry - "Smart Energy 2018" held in Moscow on June 7th was a success. The event gathered over 150 delegates from IT services of Russian energy companies, regulators, government institutions and development funds, along with senior executives of domestic developers of IT solutions, software, telecom equipment and industrial control systems, integrator companies, heads of the Russian offices of international vendors, industry media, analysts and experts.

The prime event for energy CIOs was endorsed by Rostec Corporation, RusHydro, System Operator of the Unified Energy System, International Academy of Communications, GP and ESK Association, and the National Technological Initiative (NTI).

The event sponsors were Control IT, ICBCom, and ER-Telecom. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. was general exponent. More than 30 industry media sent their reporters to the event.

The keynote speech was delivered by First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Energy Committee Valeriy Seleznev: “The power industry all around the world is undergoing a drastic transformation, driven by technological innovations, which opens the door to a brand new development stage.”

Valeriy Seleznev pointed out that implementation of IIoT devices in the electric energy industry will help save about RUR 500 million by 2025. And the expenditure will be covered through tariffs, i.e. it is the consumer who will eventually pay for digitalization. “Our task is to prevent drastic tariff increases during the period of major expenditure,” he added. According to Seleznev, the idea is to keep up with the guidance on price increases and inflation. And savings should be reduced to the tariff.

A panel discussion moderated by Head of Energy practice at VYGON Consulting Alexey Zhikharev, looked into the future of the industry amid the rapidly growing digital economy. The discussion brought together: First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Energy Committee Valeriy Seleznev, Head of IT Controlling Department of Inter RAO Larisa Mochanova, CIO of RusHydro Vitaliy Shadrin, Deputy Head of the Department of Operations and Technological Management of the Federal Grid Company of the Unified Power System Evgeniy Orfeev, Rostelecom’s Vice President Roman Shulginov, Vice President of ITU’s Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology and Partner of the Moscow Advanced Communications School  Maxim Grigoryev, and CIO of MRSK Ural Sergey Khomyakov.

Panelists discussed the following topics: what should be the first steps for digital transformation of the power industry, what do functional business managers think about digital transformation, what are the Russian energy company’s plans for digital transformation of their business, how the actions envisaged in the governmental program “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” can help the industry, how can IIoT be turned into an efficient tool for the industry (national standard, digital infrastructure, data security), what needs to be done on the level of the government, industry and particular companies to protect from cyber threats, and how import substitution can accelerate innovations in the industry.

Head of IT Controlling Department of Inter RAO Larisa Mochanova pointed out that project efficiency can be enhanced by tapping into customer data. She referred to some predictive surveys and projects featuring AI.  

RusHydro’s CIO Vitaliy Shadrin commented that there is a fusion between classical electric engineering specialists and IT professionals. According to RusHydro, digital transformation can be put into life through cooperation between industries. Besides, the company has implemented predictive online diagnostic of its equipment.

Rostelecom’s VP Roman Shulginov said that the operator is working with hydro generation, grid and distribution companies to test a package of data acquisition mechanisms, tools and technologies for data collection, storage, protection and disclosure. “These pilot projects are aimed to confirm economic efficiency of the new technologies and establish who is going to benefit from its economic effects,” he explained.

Deputy Head of the Department of Operations and Technological Management of the Federal Grid Company of the Unified Power System Evgeniy Orfeev said that as part of the “Digital Economy of the Russian Federation” program, all business automation projects will be revised to ensure a more comprehensive approach, so that quantity becomes quality. One of such projects is ‘digital substation’. It will allow companies to work in the integrated information environment (all devices working with the same information) controlling activities on all levels both within the system and upward.

CIO of MRSK Ural Sergey Khomyakov pointed out that his company gives importance to grid digitalization, and namely, equipping it with monitoring and control devices.

Vice President of ITU’s Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology and Partner of the Moscow Advanced Communications School Maxim Grigoryev suggested to learn from the industries, where digital transformation has already completed. However, it is highly questionable whether managers – decision makers will actually approve recommendations from AI, as algorithms of artificial intelligence and neural networks often cannot be interpreted, i.e. you cannot understand why exactly a neural network makes this conclusion or another. He also recommended the power industry to focus on developing new types of interpretable algorithms.

Session 1 was dedicated to digital transformation and adaptation of Industry 4.0 approaches to the needs of the power sector. The session was moderator by Innovations Director of the Federal Energy Agency of Russia Alexey Konev. Mikhail Andronov, Board Member of ATS and President of Rusenergosbyt, spoke about the main drivers of digital transformation of the Russian electric power industry. Andrey Abramov, Director for Strategy and Development, Forsyth Strategic Energy Development Fund, offered an outlook of power industry of the future: from Smart Grid to Internet of Energy. Alexey Khokhlov, Head of the Power Industry Division, Energy Center of Moscow School of Management SKOLKOVO, dedicated his report to the digital transformation of the industry on the global scale and opportunities it opens to businesses. CTO of ACBCom Andrey Nikulin told about how digital transformation affects revenue metering of energy consumption. Marina Akushskaya, Head of the Methodology and Information Analysis Department, Association of Guarantee Suppliers and Power Sales Companies, dedicated her report to the concept of Guarantee Supplier as an aggregator of price-responsive consumption. Oleg Danilchenko, Head of PwC Russia Center of Competence for Applied Data Analysis, spoke about Big Data facilitating the switch to predictive technical maintenance in the electric power industry.

Session 2 was designed to discuss IT and digital technologies as tools to enhance technical and economic efficiency of Russia’s electric power system. Andrey Kolupov, Deputy General Director of Control IT, spoke about the ways to enhance reliability of the energy system and optimize costs of telecommunication services. Vice President of ITU’s Focus Group on Application of Distributed Ledger Technology and Partner of the Moscow Advanced Communications School Maxim Grigoryev spoke about distributed ledger technology. Oleg Kalinko, Advisor to Director, System Operator of the Unified Power System, offered an overview of control systems for active industrial power supply units.  General Director of Unic IT Andrey Boganov shared with the audience an approach to the calculation of service TCO (total cost of ownership). Vladimir Schetinin, Head of Sales B2B Innovation & IoT Service, ER-Telecom Holding, spoke about turning IIoT into an efficient tool (national standards, digital infrastructure, data security).

Smart Energy 2018 concluded with a round table, where panelists discussed digitalization of the energy system as an innovative management tool. The discussion featured CIO of the System Operator of the Unified Power System Gleb Ligachev, independent expert Stanislav Terentyev, Head of ICT Systems of Moskovskoye PMES (Enterprise of backbone electrical networks of Moscow) of FSK EES Evgeny Lyaskin, CIO of MRSK Ural Sergey Khomyakov, Unicraft’s CTO Alexey Toptygin, and Head of Energy Services Department of SoftLine Trade Oleg Danilyuk.

Panel moderator CTO for Power Engineering of RTSoft Alexey Nebera proposed speakers to share their views on whether the switch to digital controlling technologies is a thing of distant future or tomorrow. Panelists listed new IT and process control systems, which can help optimize energy systems, and also reflected on the possibility of a fully automated system, controlling manufacturing machinery based on predictive analysis. The round table ended with a discussion around the role of Chief Digital Officer, CDO, and other digital positions in transforming electric energy companies into digital enterprises.

A standing reception at the end of the day was an opportunity for the audience to network and recap the conference findings.