back
Material
topics
Responding to climate change Harnessing the power of technologyReinforcing cyber resilience and data protection Building an agile, inclusive and sustainable workforce
CLP Sustainability Report 2020 / Material topics / Harnessing the power of technology

Harnessing the
power of technology

Harnessing the power of technology

Year in review

With close collaboration across the organisation, CLP has become well-positioned to deploy existing and emerging technologies to tackle challenges and opportunities presented by the pandemic.

Prior to the onset of COVID-19, utility companies already faced an array of transformative trends, such as the rapid rise of renewables, the electrification of transport and the adoption of smart energy services. In an operating environment marked by rapidly shifting changes to customer needs in energy demand and related services, the traditional sector approaches are starting to give way to new technologies and emerging business models.

The pandemic has revealed sector-specific challenges arising from the need to maintain large physical infrastructure networks, accelerating the scale and pace of change already underway. Many utility companies have brought forward plans to implement the right combination of technology solutions to respond to opportunities and challenges that they might have reasonably considered to defer into the future.

The CLP Group Innovation team was set up in 2016 to spearhead CLP’s journey to become a Utility of the Future. As the sector’s value chain becomes less linear and more complex, electric utilities have a unique role to contribute to SDG 9 – Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, by for example investing in system efficiency, flexibility solutions, and system balancing technologies. The benefits from digitising assets, operations, back-office functions and the customer experience across business lines and geographies were apparent in 2020, allowing CLP to improve operational safety and efficiency, and maintaining business continuity during the pandemic. The Company also leveraged on its competence and explored opportunities in adjacent areas, with a focus on "energy as a service" and providing energy infrastructure to, or develop in partnership with, customers.

To maintain its competitiveness in the fast-paced technology world, CLP will continue to build research and innovation capacity across the organisation, work with start-ups and progressive utilities across the world, and invest in potentially disruptive solutions through active engagement.

Key metrics- Harnessing the power of technology

Outlook

CLP has established foundational capabilities, frameworks and an innovation ecosystem to identify and nurture new energy service businesses. A "scout, scan and engage" strategy will continue to be deployed to capture relevant value-adding opportunities on the global energy landscape.

CLP will continue to deploy innovative technologies across existing assets to make operations safer and more efficient. In addition, the Group is targeting to invest in vanguard technologies that will enhance the new digital energy business model. Focus will be on building partnerships in strategic growth areas, while pursuing a digital transformation agenda through in-house data science capabilities. Smart Energy Connect is expected to expand and commercialise the Company’s digital product development capabilities, while supporting innovation leadership through accelerator and incubator programmes.

The Group is also pursuing other areas where it sees potential for growth and demand from customers. For instance, corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs) for renewable energy are one of the fastest growing power asset classes, with annual volumes of new contracts increasing 40-80% per annum globally since 2015. Companies which have set Science-based targets (SBT) or made commitments to RE100 have shown particularly keen interest. Likewise, the green finance space is expanding rapidly in its ability to provide new instruments for supporting renewable energy as part of corporate finance solutions. Following customer demand, the evolution of electricity market instruments and green financing are converging to create favourable conditions for greater renewable procurement by major customers in Asia Pacific.

Data Centres are another key element of a digital future as the demand for secure, reliable and green-powered information and communication technology (ICT) infrastructures continues to grow. CLP is partnering with data centre developers and operators, leveraging on its presence in multiple markets across the region, its experience in permits, regulations and government processes, as well as its expertise in delivering reliable and green energy.

CLP’s business will increasingly be comprised of hallmark energy expertise coupled with digital and AI capabilities that give businesses and consumers choice and control over how energy is consumed, when it is used, how it is shared and most importantly where it comes from. To this end, CLP will continue to connect customers with solutions, electricity with data, and digital technologies with engineering DNA.

5.2 Outlook

CLP offers user-friendly one-stop solutions dedicated for powering data centres in Hong Kong.

Highlights

Examples of how technology helps CLP improve its performance and develop new business opportunities to advance the sustainability agenda.


Back to top