News, Power Generation & Electrical

Digital skills gap is holding back the energy sector, DNV GL report finds

91% of energy companies say digital skills training is needed, data science and big data analytics identified as most important digital skillsets & 65% of organizations need employees with creative problem-solving competence in their workforce.

Arnhem, – A lack of digital skills and internal barriers related to company culture and mindset are the biggest roadblocks hindering digital progress in the energy sector, with 71% of organizations in the industry needing employees with combined domain and digital experience and 18% claiming to not have a single employee with this combined skillset. These are just some of the findings from the new DNV GL report Digitalization and the future of energy which surveyed nearly 2000 engineers and senior executives from start-ups to large corporations in the energy sector.

The research also reveals unanimous recognition that digital skills training is needed, with 91% of respondents regarding it fundamental for their organization to invest in. Data science and big data analytics are the most important digital skillsets for future energy workforces, cited by 41% and 35% respondents respectively. Even though data science was highlighted as the most sought-after skill, currently only 23% of respondents stated that this role exists within their organization. Creativity was also ranked highly, with 65% of respondents saying that they need employees with creative problem-solving skills among their workforce.

The energy industry needs to change rapidly, striving to reduce carbon emissions and safeguard the planet for future generations. Transforming traditional operations through digitalization plays a vital role in enabling this change and facilitating the energy transition that humanity needs so desperately to deliver.

“The energy industry is facing internal organizational hurdles that threaten its ability to keep up with the pace of digital progress. The technology to enable digital transformation is available but there’s a critical element missing that needs to be in place for digitalization to be successful. Organizations need to invest in practical skills training combined with a mindset shift to ensure their employees have the skills to add value on top of technology implementation,” said Lucy Craig, Vice President of Technology and Innovation at DNV GL – Energy. “But just as we need to foster an individual mindset geared towards digitalization we also need to foster a collective one too, one which goes to the core of a company’s culture and challenges the industry’s strategic and operational ways of working.”

The full report Digitalization and the future of energy: Beyond the hype – How to create value by combining digital technology, people and business strategy is available to download here.

Energy Digitalization
At DNV GL we combine our deep energy domain knowledge with cutting-edge digital technology to provide world-leading digital solutions across the power and renewables industry. We manage over 24GW of real-time operational data from solar PV, wind and storage assets of which our Green Power Monitor solutions manage 14.5 GW of solar PV plants including 25 mega-plants of over 100MW each. We have analysed over 65GW of operating wind assets and our analysts review over 12,500 wind, solar and grid sensors each week. Smart Cable Guard, a digital system for grid reliability, detects the location of electrical cable network failures with an accuracy of greater than 99%, preventing 65% of such failures. Dutch distribution operator Alliander has recently installed 1000 Smart Cable Guard systems in its grids, aiming to become the most reliable grid in The Netherlands. We help utilities implement data-driven energy efficiency programs which have saved over 7.9TWh over the last 3 years.