Microsoft and professional services company Accenture have unveiled a five-point plan that aims to speed up the UK’s mission to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
In conjunction with their joint venture, Avanade, Microsoft and Accenture will work together to help utility and energy companies transform the energy system and lower the cost of decarbonising the supply and demand of electricity in the UK. This will be underpinned by open data, artificial intelligence (AI) and a workforce equipped with digital skills.
The UK is the first G7 country to legislate for a net-zero target for carbon emissions by 2050. Microsoft, Accenture and Avanade will bring together their expertise in cloud, data, AI, internet of things, digital twins and digital transformation to help utility and energy companies support the UK’s low-carbon ambition.
SSE Renewables, a leading developer and operator of renewable energy across the UK and Ireland, is working with the companies to apply technology to reimagine its operations. Analytics, AI and data visualization capabilities are being deployed on Microsoft Azure for scalability and speed, empowering the company to generate actionable operational and commercial insights from diverse data sets. This helps SSE Renewables to be more cost effective and increase the reliability and life of its renewable generation assets. The company is also using AI to ensure wildlife is not adversely affected by its new windfarms.
Rachel McEwen, Chief Sustainability Officer at SSE Renewables, said: “The scale of the net zero challenge is so great and the significance of achieving it so important, we need all-hands-on-deck. The energy system – electricity in particular – must be completely decarbonised very quickly, so that trickier sectors like heat and transport can reach zero carbon emissions.
“The answer to all the technological, market and regulatory challenges that result cannot possibly come from a single organisation or sector. Partnerships, like the one between Microsoft and Accenture, are essential in bringing together an electricity utility like SSE with business and digital technology transformation specialists.”