Page 40 - European Energy Innovation - Summer 2016 publication
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40  Summer 2016 European Energy Innovation


How IoT will play a crucial role in
slashing energy use

The main theme in this issue will focus on energy efficiency in industry. We want to highlight the
importance of the Internet of Things’ functions to help communities and industry in becoming
smarter energy consumers.

By Mario Campolargo (pictured)

                 Oil prices may have
                                                                                                                                         bottomed out, but energy
                                                                                                                                         use still remains one of
                                                                                                                                         the highest manufacturing
                                                                                                                       costs. It is also one of the most tedious
                                                                                                                       to track down: where do you start
                                                                                                                       when you want to reduce your energy
                                                                                                                       bill? Fortunately, new ICT technologies
                                                                                                                       and especially advances through
                                                                                                                       the Internet of Things (IoT) are now
                                                                                                                       emerging that can make a difference.

                                                                                                                       The IoT is sometimes presented as a
                                                                                                                       fashionable and fuzzy concept. The
                                                                                                                       reality is however that it is starting to
                                                                                                                       be implemented today and to make
                                                                                                                       an impact across sectors. What do
                                                                                                                       we mean by IoT? The IoT represents
                                                                                                                       the next major economic and societal
                                                                                                                       disruption enabled by the Internet:
                                                                                                                       the physical and the virtual worlds will
                                                                                                                       merge into a new smart environment,
                                                                                                                       which will sense, analyse and adapt.
                                                                                                                       In the IoT, objects and people are
                                                                                                                       interconnected through communication
                                                                                                                       networks, in and across private, public
                                                                                                                       and industrial spaces, and report about
                                                                                                                       their status and/or about the status of
                                                                                                                       the surrounding environment.

                                                                                                                       They produce data that is collected
                                                                                                                       and aggregated in some IoT platform
                                                                                                                       connected to Internet. Through this
                                                                                                                       IoT platform, resources and solutions
                                                                                                                       can then be programmed so that the
                                                                                                                       connected objects and applications
                                                                                                                       can be activated and operate tasks
                                                                                                                       and functions to deliver specific
                                                                                                                       benefits (ex: start of a machine/
                                                                                                                       process at a time that minimises the
                                                                                                                       energy bill). The possibilities that IoT
                                                                                                                       offer are exponential. Dynamic and

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