The global transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources will affect geopolitics, the global economy and the ecology of the planet. Innovations and digital technologies will enable the transformation of the energy sector of Ukraine and successfully integrate into the new world economic processes. That is why these areas of development will be a priority for DTEK in the coming decades. This was discussed within the framework of the Energy Transformation round table organized by DTEK, which was attended by the heads of the company's innovation, digital transformation and technologies.
“Modern energy is impossible without new technologies. Innovation is about always being one step ahead in order to remain a leader. This is our philosophy and is reflected in the three horizons of innovations, which essentially serve as our road map during the period of the company's transformation”, said DTEK Chief Innovation Officer Emanuele Volpe.
According to Mr Volpe, the first horizon is the search for innovative solutions aimed at improving the safety, efficiency and environmental friendliness of the company's existing businesses. The second horizon is the search for solutions to adapt to changes in the energy sector. “In this horizon, we launched a joint project with Honeywell to build the first industrial energy storage system in Ukraine. Moreover, we are working on solutions in the field of hydrogen technology. On this front, we are developing DTEK's hydrogen strategy, and we also intend to implement a local pilot hydrogen project”, Emanuele Volpe stressed.
The third horizon, according to the DTEK Chief Innovation Officer, foresees the creation of new businesses and business models not related to energy. “So, this is any direction in which we see opportunities for ourselves”, said Mr. Volpe.
As Head of IT and MODUS Digital Transformation Program at DTEK Dmytro Osyka emphasized, the global goal of DTEK is to transform into a digital enterprise where people and technologies effectively cooperate, new business models and processes work, a digital culture is formed, and employees are open to new perspectives and are ready to experiment. “We believe that this is possible already in the 2025+ perspective”, he said.
According to him, digital transformation will allow DTEK to increase operational efficiency, business flexibility and controllability, production safety, and will enhance market understanding and communication with customers. “The first wave of digitalization, which began in 2019 and covered mines, thermal power plants, grids, logistics and HR, brought only an economic effect in the amount of UAH 230 million”, said Dmytro Osyka.
“Digital transformation is a path that brings us closer to the future. There are three important words, which we need to remember: adaptation, innovation, and transformation. In order to be more sustainable, connected and interconnected, reliable and efficient in the future, it is necessary today to adapt to new realities, introduce innovations and transform", he stressed.
According to DTEK Chief Technology Officer Philipp Leckebusch, innovation and digitalization are imbedded in the culture and the way we work at DTEK, which makes us confident to develop effective solutions to overcome many of the challenges that the company faces. “DTEK is not only following technology trends, but is actually ready to shape a new innovative and digital culture, which on a wider scale can have a positive impact on the future of the entire country. We must constantly work on the transformation of our company, because the whole world and all companies change and improve every day. Of course, transformation carries risks and uncertainties, but the main thing is not to be afraid of the future, because we are shaping the future”, said Philipp Leckebusch.
The Сhairman of the DTEK Advisory Council, Johan Bastin, stressed that innovation has been and will continue to be an enabler of energy transition. Innovation is, however, not just technological: “In DTEK, innovation is happening at the level of its corporate strategy and objectives, its organisational structure, its support of climate action. The innovation of DTEK’s corporate mission and values, its care for the health and safety of its employees, its concerns about global climate change and the environment, its promotion of fairness and transparency in business conduct, are encapsulated in the ESG strategy that the company adopted last year. It is a proud achievement of DTEK to have embarked on environmental, social and economic sustainability and to be among the first companies in the former CIS to have done so”, said Dr. Bastin.