Achieve Efficient Energy Management through Digitization

Globally, organizations have set themselves the goal of reducing their energy consumption and CO2 emissions. In 2010, for example, the European Commission has defined regulations and guidelines for an expanded, environmentally friendly energy strategy. An essential part is efficient energy management, in which digitization is the key to success.

night view of a city

Limited reserves of fossil fuels such as coal, natural gas and oil, unpredictable risks of nuclear energy, environmental factors and steadily rising energy costs are drivers of a long decided energy transition. Current and future strategies are therefore primarily based on the use of renewable energies as well as resource-conserving concepts of energy use.

For the energy producers in Germany, this means primarily to switch to solar and wind energy, but also to bioenergy, geothermal energy and hydroelectric power. For energy consumers, especially in the manufacturing sector, the optimization of energy use must be achieved by means of effective energy management with tailored IT solutions.

Energy supply for manufacturing

Lucrative subsidy programs, such as from the German government, are leading to an increasing acceptance of renewable energies not just in private households. In addition to municipalities, the manufacturing sector is increasingly using renewable energies for its production process. But office buildings, hospitals and universities also increasingly rely on resource-conserving energy. In addition, the public pressure of consumers in terms of ecological footprint and legal incentives contributes significantly to the trend reversal.

Thus, a first goal has already been achieved today: In Germany, electricity generation from renewable energies is of great importance, also for companies. Well-known examples are Deutsche Bahn and Posteo. The share of renewable energies in the total electricity generation in Germany is now almost one third. The goal is that this share will increase to about fifty percent by 2025.

Challenges put to the test

A major challenge of the energy supply for production plants is to be able to control and optimize their energy requirements at any time. In addition to cost savings, this is primarily a result of government regulations and standards, such as the energy efficiency guidelines in the European Union. Not only in Germany, but worldwide, organizations are working on innovative solutions to meet this challenge and thus optimize the use of energy.

In this respect, the energy suppliers are also required to adapt and integrate existing energy supply systems to extreme or unforeseen changes in energy production.

The limited storage capacity of energy media under technological and economic constraints, in combination with the high fluctuation of regenerative energy generation systems, considering stable distribution systems and limited predictability of the current and future sales situation, are factors in creating highly complex technological requirements for producers and network operators.

Environmental awareness and manufacturing success

The use of renewable energies in an organization shows its positive environmental awareness. Efficient energy use and associated cost savings contribute to its economic success. Deviations of the expected energy input are an indicator of potential for optimization in the production process. This is the technical challenge – to find a comprehensive solution that every organization can use for its own purpose:

  • Energy consideration of individual production plants taking relevant influencing factors into account
  • Organization-wide comparison and cumulative approach options
  • Complete integration of energy management into production, material management, forecast, purchasing, etc.
  • Flexible adaptability due to changed order and utilization conditions.

It is important to manage the complexity of energy production, consumption, storage and distribution in such a way that the energy supply is robust and the risk of a damage is minimized. It is also important that the solution utilized reacts in real time, to process the relevant data in a user-friendly and meaningful way and serve as the basis for production and business decisions.

Energy management through digitization and Internet of Things

To address these challenges, Dell EMC and INTENSE AG are collaborating on an end-to-end solution approach for organizations based on:

  • Energy Efficiency Solution (ESS) software suite from INTENSE AG,
  • The analytical capabilities of the SAP HANA® platform with complete integration into an organization’s ERP, and
  • A powerful Dell EMC infrastructure for capturing, storing and analyzing the data.

The components of the Dell EMC infrastructure include the Dell Edge Gateway for the intelligent capture of all relevant measurement data from the production plant, and the compute power of Dell EMC PowerEdge Server with Intel® Xeon® processors, in combination with Dell EMC Storage and Networking products. To deploy infrastructure technology quickly when needed, Dell EMC offers Ready Solutions that are optimized for SAP HANA. The SAP-certified and pre-configured Dell Edge Gateway connects varied wired and wireless devices and systems, aggregates and analyzes the input, and forwards it to the SAP HANA platform for further analysis. Because the gateway sits close to the devices and sensors, it sends only meaningful data to the cloud or control center, saving expensive bandwidth.

INTENSE AG’s Energy Efficiency Solution (ESS) provides the following capabilities:

  • Capture, manage, evaluate and display all energy-specific measurement data, influencing factors, and relevant comparison values ​​from SAP and from external systems
  • Derivation of the energy baseline (EnB) as well as relevant energy performance indicators (EnPi’s), graphical visualization, location comparisons and forecasts as well as alarm functions
  • Identification and management of potential options for energy efficiency and the introduction of appropriate measures

In addition, ESS is able to determine parameters for optimizing energy consumption based on historical data. This results in the following advantages for an organization:

  • Identification of energy optimization options in plants and production processes
  • Reduction of energy consumption and related energy costs
  • Compliance with government requirements for energy efficiency
  • Increased production efficiency on the basis of dependencies between production and energy use

Overall, the energy efficiency solution approach from Dell EMC and INTENSE leveraging SAP HANA covers a broad range of industries. These include not only manufacturing companies, but also health care facilities, universities and operators of large building complexes.


The efficient energy supply of the future is closely linked to digitization. It is the basis of an intelligent energy management system. The goal is to optimize and to sustainably reduce energy consumption for consumers. This results in economic benefits, especially for the manufacturing sector. Digitization using IoT technologies enables them, for example, to adapt manufacturing power to the energy supply capacity and thus to save costs.

The solution approach from Dell EMC and INTENSE plays a key role here. It fulfills all prerequisites for a viable and efficient energy supply for all organizations.

To learn more about the Energy Efficiency Solution, read the white paper and visit the Dell EMC booth at the SAP Leonardo LIVE on 11 and 12 July 2017 in Frankfurt or get in contact directly with our experts from the Dell EMC Global SAP Center of Excellence.

About the Author: JP Gotter

JP Gotter has spent nearly 20 years focused on the SAP business, developing a deep knowledge of SAP products and technology. Based in Germany, he has been at Dell for over five years and currently heads the Global SAP Center of Excellence.