Sin City The Site Of Schneider Innovation Summit

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Sin City The Site Of Schneider Innovation Summit

Las Vegas, a city more known for excess and iniquity, hosted the Schneider Electric annual innovation summit on the 12th and 13th October. Held in the new Resorts World Las Vegas, the hotel showcased Schneider’s latest controls system, which enabled it to achieve LEED Gold certification.

It was a fitting site for a summit themed ‘the moment is now’, referring to the action required to meet 2050 net-zero carbon targets (or maybe when to go all in during a poker round). CEO Jean-Pascal Tricoire and North American Operations President Aamir Paul kicked off the event by outlining their strategies to provide enterprises the necessary technologies and services to cut carbon emissions while improving operational efficiency. Colleagues, business partners, customers and analysts came together to talk shop, swap notes, and have a little extracurricular fun between the panels, talks and entertainment on offer. 

Professional blackjack player and entrepreneur Jeffery Ma provided an entertaining keynote speech that compared the importance of data and analysis in blackjack to decision making in business. These insights were later put to test on the casino tables rather than boardrooms. 

Energy management is now top of mind for real estate executives and emerged as a key talking point during the event. Businesses of all sizes are finding themselves exposed to high energy prices, uncertain power access and decarbonization pressures from regulators and stakeholders. As a result, consumers are turning to technology to understand consumption and to mitigate future risk. 

Verdantix participated in a panel session focussed on the role of microgrids in a rapidly changing energy landscape. three major conclusions came out of the discussion:

  • Resilient energy access is no longer the overwhelming driver of microgrid investment. Decarbonization and cost optimization present attractive benefits to an increasingly wide range of customers.
  • The business case for microgrids is improving as technology costs reduce, energy prices remain volatile and decarbonization agendas accelerate. Owners of commercial real estate, manufacturing facilities and public infrastructure can now benefit from private microgrid installations and achieve realistic ROIs in six to eight years. New energy as a Service (EaaS) financing removes some of the risk for customers and vendors. 
  • Microgrids will be critical as the energy landscape shifts from centralized fossil fuel generation to distributed renewable power; localized energy production and storage will be necessary to balance production and demand. This will force the grid to democratize as private facilities can trade their own electricity with neighbours and the wider grid. 

On the final night of the event, punters were dragged away from the slots to attend a rooftop performance by Radio Xx, a talented cover band that played 80s and 90s classics for a very receptive audience (and caused some hoarse voices amongst panellists the next day).

For this participant, an interesting and informative week was capped a quick trip to the Grand Canyon. 

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Ben Hext

Industry Analyst

Ben is an Industry Analyst in the Verdantix Smart Buildings practice. His current agenda covers hardware and software solutions for energy management, on-site power generation, and COVID-19 mitigation management. He holds an M.Eng in Mechanical Engineering from Durham University,