Building research and development capability

Against a fast-changing environment, our capability needs to evolve over time to keep pace with technological developments and societal changes.

Internal capability

The only limit to how far we can go along the innovation journey is our capability. The synergy between new skills such as data science and industry knowledge may not be readily available in the market. Hence it is important for us to build our internal capability.

Like everyone else, one area that is of particular importance to our innovation drive is data. By unlocking the immense potential of data, we can better manage our operations using analytics, seize and realise new business opportunities, and deepen our relationships with customers and stakeholders.

In 2017, we set up a new team of big data experts and allocated resources to boost our analytic capabilities. At the same time, we have collaborated with external partners to launch trials and pilots, which apply analytics tools to improve the operational efficiency of our assets and develop our ability to detect anomalies in performance or potential failure. We have also carried out a pilot of a smart data platform to optimise the operational performance of our wind and solar plants.

By investing in our data capability, we aim to develop an energy ecosystem that orchestrates the flow of data and applications throughout our business, which will provide a foundation for new products and services, as well as drive operational innovation.

Partnership and collaboration

We have actively sought for improved or new ways to capitalise on our existing strengths and capabilities and allocate more resources into developing a new competitive edge. The worldwide pursuits of a ‘smart city’ have accelerated in recent years. There are now thousands of smart city projects and pilots underway around the globe. While some of these grandiose schemes have begun to take shape, others are still in their infancy stage.

In 2017, we conducted learning visits to cities that are recognised as front runners in the field and where energy companies are playing a significant role in the development. The experiences of the world’s leaders helped inform the formulation of CLP’s position as a smart city orchestrator. Our vision is to become a preferred partner for delivering smart city infrastructure and services in each of the markets and regions where we operate.

For instance, in Hong Kong, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Siemens Limited in November 2017 to develop smart city solutions. We are also supporting the Energising Kowloon East Project’s Smart Energy Community, pursuing a micro-grid project with Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, and exploring opportunities to equip data centres with smart energy and efficiency capabilities.

Meanwhile, EnergyAustralia has committed to deliver 50MW of demand response reserve capacity as part of a pilot programme by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Australian Energy Market Operator to keep lights on at times of peak demand such as extremely hot days by reducing energy consumption. The capacity will be made available using technologies like remote monitoring systems and battery storage.

On cyber security, which is one of the fastest changing areas and where the need to keep up is critical, in June 2017, we signed a MoU with Israel Electric Corporation, a well-known industry leader on cyber security, for exchanges and collaborations. In the same month, we leveraged upon the Guangdong, Hong Kong and Macau Power Industry Summit platform to organise a ymposium on cyber security issues with our regional partners including China Southern Power Grid, China General Nuclear Power Corporation and Companhia de Electricidade de Macau (CEM).

We value ideas from outside organisations and recognise the value in forging new strategic partnerships that help enrich our knowledge and deepen our insight, while exploring new markets and areas that we have yet to tap into. All of these are part of a journey of innovation that will allow us to stay ahead in the competition.

New Horizons - A Platform to Share Intellectual Capital

One way to understand and keep track of the emerging issues affecting the industry is to encourage new ideas and experience sharing. Launched in 2015, CLP’s New Horizons website provides a platform for industry experts to share their latest insights on market trends and innovations in the energy sector and facilitates discussion on how we can work together to achieve a more sustainable energy future.

CLP’s New Horizons website