What Impact Has Covid-19 Had On The Power Industry?

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As the effects of COVID-19 ripple across the world, we look at how this has impacted businesses within the Power Industry.

The Power Industry is the engine of the global economy, supplying electricity to all other industry sectors. Goods and services depend on it.

The spread of COVID-19, in particular, has caused mass production shutdowns, bottlenecks and issues along the supply chain across multiple industry sectors.

There have been thousands of job losses and business closures and we’ve seen restrictions put in place which has seen millions of people confined to their homes.

It’s been hard-hitting, but not catastrophic.

According to the ONS, monthly gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.8% between April and May 2021 but remained 3.1% below its level in February 2020, which was the most recent month not affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Monthly production grew by 0.8% between April and May 2021 leaving it 2.6% below its February 2020 level; the monthly growth was led by the electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply sector, as cold weather and low wind speeds contributed to high demand for gas production in May.

The Impact of Covid-19 on the Use of the Internet

Recent findings show that internet services has seen internet usage increase from 40% to 100%, compared to pre-lockdown levels. Video conferencing services, such as Zoom, has seen a ten-fold increase.

Businesses and consumers alike have adapted to the new ‘norm’ with hybrid working becoming a topic of discussion for many.

Companies are understanding productivity of employees hasn’t diminished while working from home and some are seeing a rise in output in this new era. Employees are too finding that there is more of a work/life balance and a lot less time spent commuting albeit there is still a need for face-to-face interaction and collaboration.

Education is another domain in which there was a dramatic shift to the online mode of transacting. Since the beginning of the lockdown, schools, colleges, and universities around the world have shifted their classes to video conferencing platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams and with recent A-Level results announced, show that this way of working has had little to no impact on pupils.

What Does The Increase in Internet Activity Mean For Manufacturers in the Power Industry?

Digital transformation technologies such as Cloud, Internet-of-Things (IoT), Blockchain (BC), and Artificial Intelligence (AI), constitute a bulk of the of what is being adopted by organisations as part of their transformation effort.

Cloud computing, simply put, is the delivery of computing services – including servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. There is a greater need for manufacturers to use data in their decision making.

Blockchain (BC) technology also presents an opportunity to create secure and trusted information control mechanisms. As companies witness a shift to the digital domain, BCs enable a way to secure and authenticate test certificates, production records and quality controls systems. Take a look at our previous article on Blockchain Technology.

Not forgetting Data Centers, as they are designed to support business applications and activities that include:

• Email and file sharing
• Productivity applications
• Customer relationship management (CRM)
• Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and databases
• Big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning
• Virtual desktops, communications, and collaboration services

Hobut, in particular, is seeing a growing customer need for backup generators for data centers. These provide power when the main power source is interrupted.

Power outages due to utility grid failures, rolling blackouts, inclement weather, natural or man-made disasters, or electrical failure can put data centers at high risk of operational loss. Data center systems and components are expected to work constantly and require reliable, uninterrupted power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If there is any lapse in power, files can be lost or can become corrupted, mainframes can malfunction, and that can result in lost profits.

Unfortunately, most data center components are susceptible to high power spikes due to switching from normal to emergency power supplies. This means that a total system restart is usually required, even if the components only lose power for a single moment. This leads to system downtime, potential start-up issues, file corruption, and information being processed at the time could also be lost.

Hobut’s products are in huge demand and will continue to grow as we ease out of lockdown.

View our product range https://www.hobut.co.uk/products/

Hobut manufacture more than 40,000 current transformers each month and over 20,000 panel meters and other related products from its large UK factory in Walsall and supply to industries including Standby Power Generators, Panel Building, Building Management, Electrical Utilities and Component Distribution.

The Increased Importance of Higher Accuracy Fully Certified Products

As we have just explained, there is a growing demand for products for use in data centers and in addition there is a need to supply these products with accompanying individual electrical test certificates.

As Hobut are the manufacturers, we have the manufacturing capabilities and infrastructure in place and have vigorous testing procedures to ensure correct and compliant certification is produced and held.

What Next Post Covid-19?

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many dislocations to the power sector. However, as the pandemic eases past Freedom Day and mobility increases, economic growth isn’t guaranteed but activity is more than likely to pick up.

This will increase commercial and industrial demand for electricity, which will ease many of the problems faced during the crisis.

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