Belgian companies lead by example in implementation of drone technology
$169 billion Global cost of Power & Utilities sector losses related to network outages
$609 million Revenue opportunities related to improving reliability of power supply systems
Leveraging drone technologies to secure utilities systems
Drones are poised to revolutionise the Power and Utilities (P&U) sector in Belgium. In a country with relatively high labour costs, drone technology can reduce expenditures while improving safety and efficiency.
Pressure on P&U is paving the way for the adoption of drone technology. Koen Hens, PwC Belgium Partner and Energy & Utilities Leader, explains: ‘’The P&U sector in Belgium and on a global scale is under unprecedented pressure to move away from fossil fuels while lowering energy prices. As organisations struggle to maintain profitability despite these challenges, the stage is set for the implementation of drones to cut costs by increasing efficiencies.’’
The potential of drones to streamline processes in the field is significant. They can live-stream video and capture high-resolution and thermal images of a facility, including hard-to-access areas that would otherwise be monitored by costly planes or helicopters. Drones can perform power plant inspections and maintenance that are difficult or even dangerous for humans, without the need to cut the power supply. These advantages are crucial in the face of tightening government regulations and financial incentives for companies that hit - or miss - reliability targets. Site monitoring by drones is quicker, safer and significantly more cost-effective.
Like other sectors considering drone technology, P&U in Belgium has begun implementation. Belgian energy companies are pioneering the use of drones, setting an example that competitors are likely to soon follow. Companies are already using drone technology for tasks such as inspections of thermal power plants and solar farms. Not only are they faster and more cost-efficient than traditional human monitoring, they’re also much safer.