How is Enel powering Formula E’s clean energy drive?
Italian power company Enel will be working alongside the Formula E racing championships to further enhance its sustainability programme and improve the fan experience.
Enel will work with Formula E to optimise its clean energy generation, distribution and management, showcasing its advanced energy solutions. The partnership gets the green light at the upcoming Berlin ePrix, which takes place on May 21, and will run through the following two seasons, with the possibility to extend the agreement beyond the 2017/18 season.
Francesco Starace, CEO and General Manager of the Enel Group, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with the Formula E team to lend our expertise in accelerating the digitisation of their energy management infrastructure and powering them through our renewable energy generation technologies. Enel and Formula E are natural partners, as we both embrace the exciting opportunities in electric mobility, smart cities and the clean energy revolution. We are now joining forces to continue with our pioneering work in the field of technological innovation for the vehicles of the future.”
Enel is designing a fully digitised energy mini-grid for Formula E, using the company’s smart metering technology to monitor power usage and give fans the chance to interact with an advanced energy system in real time. In the current season, Enel will gradually deploy its smart meters and energy management system, harvesting data on energy usage for each team and across the event at every race.
A transportable mini-grid will eventually ensure that the championship’s races continue to place no extra strain on their host cities’ existing electricity grid. Enel will also provide its LED lighting technology for areas around each circuit, as well as setting up its own charging columns for fans arriving at the ePrixs in their own electric vehicles.
By the 2017/18 season, Formula E will be ready to deploy a combination of solar panels and glycerine-fed generators connected to a highly innovative storage system that will distribute energy at the event whenever needed. Enel will also look at installing solar panels in other areas at each venue.
With Enel driving the development of renewable generation technologies, smart grids and e-mobility solutions in the energy sector, Formula E offers the Group a high-tech testing ground for the ongoing development of its green power technologies.
Furthermore, following the signing of the partnership agreement, the entire Formula E operations become carbon neutral. Consequently the Berlin ePrix becomes the first ever carbon neutral motor race. Currently Formula E generates around 30,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year, which, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency data, is equivalent to the average annual CO2 emissions of over 2,700 American homes.
The majority of CO2 generated by the championship comes from the international transport of equipment over the course of the season, even if the organisation works proactively to limit emissions from transportation. Enel will therefore work with Formula E to progressively offset those emissions through the deployment of Enel’s renewable energy technologies.
Formula E was launched in September 2014 and is currently in its second season. Since the start of its inaugural championship, the series has built an impressive following, with an average TV audience of 18.3 million people watching each ePrix and average attendance at the races of around 30,000 people.
Automation of repetitive tasks leads to higher value work
Two-thirds of global office workers feel they are constantly doing the same tasks over and over again. That’s according to a new study (2021 Office Worker Survey) from automation software company UiPath.
Whether emailing, inputting data, or scheduling calls and meetings, the majority of those surveyed said they waste on average four and a half hours a week on time-consuming tasks that they think could be automated.
Not only is the undertaking of such repetitious and mundane tasks a waste of time for employees, and therefore for businesses, but it can also have a negative impact on employees’ motivation and productivity. And the research backs this up with more than half (58%) of those surveyed saying that undertaking such repetitive tasks doesn’t allow them to be as creative as they’d like to be.
“When repetitive, unrewarding tasks are handled by people, it takes time and this can cause delays and reduce both employee and customer satisfaction,” Gavin Mee, Managing Director of UiPath Northern Europe tells Business Chief. “Repetitive tasks can also be tedious, which often leads to stress and an increased likelihood to leave a job.”
And these tasks exist at all levels within an organisation, right up to executive level, where there are “small daily tasks that can be automated, such as scheduling, logging onto systems and creating reports”, adds Mee.
Automation can free employees to focus on higher value work
By automating some or all of these repetitive tasks, employees at whatever level of the organisation are freed up to focus on meaningful work that is creative, collaborative and strategic, something that will not only help them feel more engaged, but also benefit the organisation.
“Automation can free people to do more engaging, rewarding and higher value work,” says Mee, highlighting that 68% of global workers believe automation will make them more productive and 60% of executives agree that automation will enable people to focus on more strategic work. “Importantly, 57% of executives also say that automation increases employee engagement, all important factors to achieving business objectives.”
These aren’t the only benefits, however. One of the problems with employees doing some of these repetitive tasks manually is that “people are fallible and make mistakes”, says Mee, whereas automation boosts accuracy and reduces manual errors by 57%, according to Forrester Research. Compliance is also improved, according to 92% of global organisations.
Repetitive tasks that can be automated
Any repetitive process can be automated, Mee explains, from paying invoices to dealing with enquiries, or authorising documents and managing insurance claims. “The process will vary from business to business, but office workers have identified and created software robots to assist with thousands of common tasks they want automated.”
These include inputting data or creating data sets, a time-consuming task that 59% of those surveyed globally said was the task they would most like to automate, with scheduling of calls and meetings (57%) and sending template or reminder emails (60%) also top of the automation list. Far fewer believed, however, that tasks such as liaising with their team or customers could be automated, illustrating the higher value of such tasks.
“By employing software robots to undertake such tasks, they can be handled much more quickly,” adds Mee pointing to OTP Bank Romania, which during the pandemic used an automation to process requests to postpone bank loan instalments. “This reduced the processing time of a single request from 10 minutes to 20 seconds, allowing the bank to cope with a 125% increase in the number of calls received by call centre agents.”
Mee says: “Automation accelerates digital transformation, according to 63% of global executives. It also drives major cost savings and improves business metrics, and because software robots can ramp-up quickly to meet spikes in demand, it improves resilience.
Five business areas that can be automated
Mee outlines five business areas where automation can really make a difference.
- Contact centres Whether a customer seeks help online, in-store or with an agent, the entire customer service journey can be automated – from initial interaction to reaching a satisfying outcome
- Finance and accounting Automation enables firms to manage tasks such as invoice processing, ensuring accuracy and preventing mistakes
- Human resources Automations can be used across the HR team to manage things like payroll, assessing job candidates, and on-boarding
- IT IT teams are often swamped in daily activity like on-boarding or off-boarding employees. Deploying virtual machines, provisioning, configuring, and maintaining infrastructure. These tasks are ideal for automation
- Legal There are many important administrative tasks undertaken by legal teams that can be automated. Often, legal professionals are creating their own robots to help them manage this work. In legal and compliance processes, that means attorneys and paralegals can respond more quickly to increasing demands from clients and internal stakeholders. Robots don’t store data, and the data they use is encrypted in transit and at rest, which improves risk profiling and compliance.
“To embark on an automation journey, organisations need to create a Centre of Excellence in which technical expertise is fostered,” explains Mee. “This group of experts can begin automating processes quickly to show return on investment and gain buy-in. This effort leads to greater interest from within the organisation, which often kick-starts a strategic focus on embedding automation.”