Sygnity is one of the pioneers in the Polish IT market, in operation since 1991. The company serves a variety of sectors including energy, from A to Z: from consulting, production and implementation, to service and outsourcing. In 1995 the company became listed on the stock exchange.
What do you see as the most influential technological trends that have emerged in the Polish energy industry?
AL: There are two visible technological trends in the market at this time. The first one is 5G technology - to utilize RES in a way that does not destabilize the network we need real time, dynamic management of energy flows. 5G will help with this and also improve the operation of self-healing networks and ultra-fast fault location applications.
The second trend is blockchain, which may just be the technology of the future. Its applications are numerous - for instance, blockchain enables the construction of platforms for decentralized energy trading. It also supports the creation of smart contracts, that automate services for individual customers, energy payments and document creation. Cybersecurity issues can also be addressed with blockchain technology.
BZ: One thing worth highlighting is that we are expecting a Central Data Hub in Poland, whose implementation will hopefully be started by Q1 2021. The great value this brings is that all metering data will be managed in a centralized manner. The hub will be owned by PSE and cybersecurity will be an important part of this solution.
You are among Poland’s pioneers in IT - can you highlight some of the recent innovations you brought to market?
AL: One example is Sygnity Capacity Market, a solution which ensures the lawful operation of power suppliers and minimizes the risk of penalties for failure to comply with capacity obligations. More specifically, this innovative solution ensures effective management of capacity obligations, effective response to emergency periods, and automation of complex processes (for instance, transferring capacity obligations or the internal settlement process).
BZ: Another innovation is Sygnity Forecast which enables users to more accurately forecast the energy demand and production. This is a top-notch solution that supports implementation of key business processes for utility companies as well as optimizing energy costs, determining the commercial position and predicting the level of energy demand in concluded contracts. To put things in perspective, Sygnity Forecast can provide five times better results in terms of predictability and forecast errors rate compared to other solutions on the market. Those results we can accomplish by applying proprietary models based, among others, on reinforced decision trees, deep neural networks and machine learnings mechanisms.
AL: Data is absolutely crucial if you wish to predict and forecast - in fact the richer the data, the better the prediction. Smart meters are therefore very helpful and even more, we can make use of IoT and other smart grid solutions to improve forecasting result.
To date, not that many smart meters have been deployed across Poland but the goal is for to have 80% of consumers covered by 2028.
Some of your peers noted that they find it difficult to engage with local utility companies, to get clarity on their needs and requirements. Has this been your experience as well?
BZ: It can be difficult especially for newcomers because utility companies here work on a trust basis. We hold the great advantage of having been present in Poland for decades now, enough time to develop strong relationships with our clients. This allows us to understand their business needs and generate solutions in collaboration with them.
Despite its many bright IT and engineering minds, Poland still ranks rather low among other EU countries when it comes to digitalization. Why do you think that is?
BZ: Most often it has to do with costs, time needed for development, and the absence of legal regulations. I do, however, believe that it is only a matter of time until Poland catches up in terms of adopting innovative technologies.
What are Sygnity’s objectives moving forward, in Poland as well as internationally?
BZ: One challenge for companies like ours is to understand what initiatives can truly come to fruition. For instance, a few years back there was a lot of hope in Poland surrounding independent energy sellers, but many of them have disappeared meanwhile. So one goal is to keep our eyes on the market and understand which opportunities are worth pursuing.
Geography wise we are focusing on Poland with priority, but we consider entering other markets as well because we trust we hold the necessary knowledge to be successful internationally. We already have several real case solution implementations in the utilities sector internationally, including Sygnity Forecast Solutions.
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