Posted by Deb Frodl, GE ecomagination Global Executive Director on Tue, 2014-11-04 17:17
GE Predictivity™ Solutions Join ecomagination Portfolio
It has been three years since Marc Andreessen, co-founder of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote his influential essay, Why Software Is Eating the World. Since that time, the impact of software in industrial applications has grown substantially. GE’s Industrial Internet is playing an important role in advancing the use of software in this arena. However, in addition to eating the world, it has now become clear that software can play an important role in helping to save the world from growing resource scarcity.
The fact is, a great global resource challenge is now upon us. The demand for natural resources is outstripping available supplies in many regions around the world. Regional resource imbalances are occurring for energy, water, food, and materials. These imbalances are driving up commodity prices and creating resource stresses that have social, political, and economic implications.
This challenge is poised to become even greater in the years ahead. Expected increases in gross domestic product (GDP) and population levels over the next 15 years will translate into even stronger levels of resource demand. Our analysis indicates that in the absence of additional improvements in the intensity of resource use per dollar of GDP, both materials extraction and energy consumption will increase by 80% by 2030.
Ecomagination is GE’s commitment to developing technologies that reduce our consumption of natural resources, while creating economic benefit for our customers. Established in 2005, GE’s ecomagination program has been at the forefront of resource productivity solutions for a decade. Now, with the addition of the Predictivity solutions to the ecomagination portfolio, GE has an even greater potential to play a key role in responding to the global resource challenge.
The integration of efficient hardware with Internet-enabled software is the new frontier of natural resource productivity. This approach provides an avenue to achieve resource productivity improvements above and beyond those that can be achieved through hardware advances alone. In a recently published white paper on this topic, we call this Digital Resource Productivity, and we believe that productivity improvements can be doubled over the next 15 years by integrating software and hardware to optimize resource use.
It would appear our customers agree. In a recent survey conducted jointly by GE and Accenture and captured in the Industrial Internet Insights Report for 2015, the ability to “improve environmental safety and emissions” was chosen as one of the top three priorities for the use of big data analytics in the next 1-3 years.
Some examples of how the powerful combination of big machines and big data can have real world positive influences include:
Power FlexEfficiency: Uses data sensors and data science to produce up to 10% greater turbine power output
Wind PowerUp: Produces up to 5% additional power for wind farms
Flight Efficiency Services: Results in reductions of up to 1,600 lbs CO2 emission per flight and gains of up to 2% fuel efficiency using flight and operational data
Trip Optimizer: Produces up to 10% emissions reduction and up to 10% energy savings with a sophisticated optimization solution for rail
Water & Process Technologies InSight™: Enables industrial companies to reuse municipal wastewater instead of fresh water to meet the demand for cooling
At GE, we are excited about the opportunity to play a role in helping to confront the global resource challenge. Today we are embarking upon a new frontier of digital resource productivity by expanding ecomagination to encompass GE’s Predictivity suite of solutions. Join us as we help transform the future of global resource productivity.