¿Qué es el Big Data?

En el mundo actual, el volumen de datos crece cada día a un ritmo exponencial. Estos conjuntos de datos son cada vez de mayor tamaño y mayor complejidad y proceden en gran parte de nuevas fuentes y orígenes (por ejemplo, el mayor número dispositivos conectados o las redes sociales). El Big Data permite a las organizaciones explotar estos datos que por su volumen, variedad o velocidad de creación no pueden ser tratados de manera convencional, y de este modo utilizarlos para la toma de decisiones empresariales. El Big Data es uno de los elementos clave de la transformación digital en una empresa.

Aplicaciones del Big Data en el sector energético

El sector de la distribución eléctrica no es diferente al resto, y la mayor sensorización de la red, el contador inteligente o los canales de comunicación con los clientes, ponen a nuestra disposición una cantidad de datos cada vez mayor. Si somos capaces de gestionar y combinar esos datos, así como de construir modelos de análisis avanzado, podremos optimizar nuestros procesos y mejorar el servicio prestado a nuestros clientes.

¿Cómo utilizamos en Viesgo el Big Data?

Un caso de éxito del que ya se han podido medir resultados es el de la detección de fraude y anomalías. En Viesgo utilizamos modelos y técnicas de análisis de datos para detectar anomalías que provocan pérdidas no técnicas (aquellas que no son inherentes al propio proceso de distribución de energía) en la red de baja tensión, que es donde mayoritariamente se producen. Con estas medidas logramos mejorar los tiempos de detección y reducir la energía perdida.

Otro punto destacable es el papel del contador inteligente. Su rol es fundamental en esta transformación debido a los beneficios que aporta para los clientes finales y para la operación de la red. Por ello, estamos trabajando en distintos usos del gran volumen de información que recogen estos dispositivos con el objetivo de mejorar la calidad de suministro y ofrecer servicios de valor añadido a nuestros clientes. 

Siguiendo en la misma línea, en Viesgo estamos desplegando un proyecto  de mantenimiento predictivo que permitirá combinar el conocimiento y la experiencia sobre el comportamiento de los activos con la utilización de nuevas tecnologías de monitorización y técnicas de analítica predictiva. El objetivo es maximizar la disponibilidad de las redes y mejorar su fiabilidad, optimizando los costes de mantenimiento y operación.

También utilizamos tecnología Big Data para garantizar la calidad de nuestros procesos. Por ejemplo, dentro del proceso de facturación, contrastamos distintas fuentes de datos estructurados (que pueden ser ordenados y procesados fácilmente) y no estructurados (datos en bruto y no organizados cuya explotación e interpretación es más costosa). De este modo aseguramos la calidad y fiabilidad de la factura emitida.

Como podemos ver, las líneas de trabajo en Big Data dentro de Viesgo son múltiples y las soluciones que nos planteamos explorar en el futuro, numerosas. Somos conscientes de que el Big Data, el analytics y la revolución de los datos permiten transformar las compañías, y ese es el camino que debemos y queremos recorrer.

Autor: Belén Cabeza Díaz, Viesgo Distribución

¿Qué es el Paquete de Invierno de la UE?

El Paquete de Invierno también llamado paquete de Energía Limpia es un conjunto de normas que establecerán la política energética de los estados miembros de la Unión Europea hasta 2030.

Estas normas comenzaron su tramitación en noviembre de 2016 como propuestas de la Comisión Europea y después de largas negociaciones con el Consejo y el Parlamento Europeo (en lo que se conoce como los trílogos), han sido modificadas y revisadas hasta que el 14 de junio de 2019, cuando entraron formalmente en vigor.

Las normas son las siguientes:

  1. Directiva de rendimiento energético en edificios
  2. Directiva de Energías Renovables
  3. Directiva de Eficiencia Energética
  4. Reglamento de la gobernanza
  5. Directiva de electricidad
  6. Reglamento de electricidad
  7. Reglamento de preparación ante riesgos
  8. Reglamento para la Agencia de Cooperación de los Reguladores de la Energía (ACER)

El objetivo de la UE con las nuevas normas es aumentar la ambición de su política energética para asegurar el cumplimiento del Acuerdo de París de 2015, el compromiso de la comunidad internacional por limitar el aumento de la temperatura global a 2ºC (realizando esfuerzos porque no supere 1,5 ºC).

En línea con esta mayor ambición, el paquete de invierno ha incrementado los objetivos medioambientales de la UE para renovables y eficiencia (incluyendo la posibilidad de aumentarlos aún más en 2023) hasta fijar para 2030:

  • 32% de energías renovables en el consumo final (antes 27%)
  • 32,5% de eficiencia energética (antes 30%)

Además, se ha mantenido el objetivo de reducción de emisiones de 40% respecto a niveles de 1990, aunque la Comisión considera que con las nuevas políticas aprobadas se alcanzará una reducción del 45%.

España y la energía limpia y sostenible

En primer lugar, el reglamento de gobernanza del Paquete de Invierno requiere a los estados miembros elaborar un Plan Nacional Integrado de Energía y Clima (PNIEC), que cubra el periodo de 2021 a 2030 y una Estrategia a largo plazo, para una economía neutra en emisiones en 2050.

El borrador del PNIEC fue publicado por el Ministerio para la Transición Ecológica este 2019 y enviado a la Comisión, que deberá evaluar si la evolución del sistema energético propuesta por España permite a la UE cumplir con los objetivos mencionados antes. La Estrategia a 2050 está en proceso de elaboración por parte del Ministerio (ahora mismo en fase de consulta pública) y se espera que sea finalizada en 2019.

Además de la labor de planificación, las nuevas normas incluyen medidas concretas con cambios significativos en el sistema eléctrico, que se trasladarán a la regulación española (los reglamentos aplican directamente, las directivas han de trasponerse).

Esto incluye una revisión del diseño del mercado eléctrico para integrar una mayor proporción de fuentes renovables, incorporar nuevos agentes y hacerlo más flexible, entre otras.

Otro de los grandes objetivos de las nuevas normas es poner a los consumidores en el centro de la transición, dándoles más opciones y permitiendo que produzcan su propia energía.

En definitiva, el Paquete de Invierno o energía eléctrica limpia, debe ser la base sobre la que se construya la regulación que impulse la transición energética en los distintos países de la Unión Europea de forma que se cumplan sus objetivos medioambientales y sus compromisos en el Acuerdo de París.

Autor: Equipo de Regulación de Viesgo

Pero ¿qué es eso de la digitalización?

¿Sabías que en el siglo XIX hubo más cambios que en los 900 años previos? Y ¿qué en la primera mitad del siglo XX se produjeron más cambios que en todo el siglo anterior? ¿Qué a finales del siglo XX el cambio de paradigma sucedía cada década? La pregunta es, ¿qué está sucediendo en la actualidad donde el cambio protagoniza nuestra actividad y vida diaria? Pues hoy nos encontramos en un mundo dominado por la velocidad, con un concepto clave que predomina sobre todos los demás: “transformación digital”. La digitalización nos indica que no estamos en una época de cambio, sino que estamos ante un cambio de época.

Veamos un ejemplo cotidiano de nuestro día a día que puede ayudarnos a explicar muy bien de qué estamos hablando. Todos hemos comprado alguna vez un periódico, ¿no? Para leerlo teníamos que salir a la calle, acercarnos a un quiosco y pagar 1 euro o 1 euro y medio, para poder ver noticias que se habían escrito el día anterior, con noticias que yo no había elegido, y en un formato que no es medioambientalmente sostenible. Frente a esto surge la “digitalización del periódico”, leo el periódico dónde quiero y como quiero (por la mañana, en el autobús…), las noticias que recibo son en tiempo real, son las que a mí me interesan, además las puedo leer o las puedo ver en formato video, y en diferentes dispositivos siempre que tenga conexión a Internet… Y todo esto “gratis”. ¿Quién da más?

Pues bien, nos guste o no estamos viviendo una revolución, un periodo de cambios muy rápidos de disrupción en todos y cada uno de los negocios, donde existe una megatendencia que domina sobre todas las demás y que viene para quedarse, hablamos del cambio tecnológico exponencial. Este cambio en la tecnología se traduce en cuatro elementos fundamentales: la Inteligencia Artificial, el Big Data, el Internet de las Cosas y la Realidad Virtual. Aspectos que están transformando por completo nuestro mundo, la forma en la que nos relacionamos e incluso, la forma de trabajar.

Y dentro de todo esto, ¿dónde quedamos las personas? Hoy más que nunca el talento y su gestión son claves. El apellido digital que le ponemos a dicho talento no es más que la facilidad con la que un profesional se desenvuelve y trabaja en el mundo digital. Por eso, desde Viesgo llevamos ya dos años trabajando en nuestro proyecto Milenial de Transformación Digital, en el que definimos y fomentamos un cambio cultural basado en cuatro actitudes que consideramos clave como son: la agilidad, la sencillez, la colaboración y la conectividad. Y es que la transformación digital va mucho más allá del uso de las nuevas tecnologías. Estas deben ser un medio para fomentar ese cambio, pero nunca un fin en sí mismas. La transformación digital implica un cambio de mentalidad en la cultura de la empresa y ello se traduce en formación adaptada a esas nuevas necesidades de mercado, lo que sitúa a las personas en el centro de este reto. En un mundo tan conectado, la innovación y la formación continua de los empleados, será vital para adaptarnos y ser competitivos en esta época de constantes cambios.

José Ignacio Martínez Patiño, RRHH Viesgo

VIRTUAL TRAINING: virtual reality as a training tool

Over recent years, virtual reality technology has experienced great progress in the entertainment sector in an attempt to place users at the centre of the action and to ensure they experience more realistic feelings. 

Within the area of occupational risk prevention, especially in terms of training, this progress often enable us to reproduce real situations in which the user can train in jobs and even experience the consequences of an accident in the workplace when the defined preventive measures are not taken, all in a controlled and complete safe environment. Virtual reality is becoming a chance to improve processes and reduce accidents at work. 

What is Virtual Training?

Designed within this context is Virtual training, an application that makes user training in substation operations easier, interacting with switching devices in an attractive, simple and safe manner. First Comillas substation has been virtualised so that users can recreate operations in this facility. Every detail has been covered: installations, switchgear and equipment, access roads, switching elements, etc. What is more, users can access the interaction procedures with the control centre, one of the essential parts of grid operations. 

Virtual Training can be used in two ways. In the first, an avatar guides you through the different switching operations in order to train you in them, warning of each error and not allowing you to progress until the correct choice is made at each stage. In the second, assessment mode, users must perform the switching operations themselves, with a report at the end indicating the correct action taken and the areas where learning should be reinforced. 

Virtual Training allows for interaction with the application in two different ways. The most conventional means that training is possible from a computer with an internet connection, similar to interactive training games. The second possibility, the most attractive to users, consists of full immersion by way of virtual reality devices (glasses, controls and sensors). This possibility is available in the training classroom in Candina, Santander, and provides a very similar experience to real operations, with the advantage of not being exposed to any risk. 

Benefits of Virtual Training

Virtual Training helps train new operators and helps with regular ongoing training, ensuring safe switching operations and the basic operations involved in powering down the installation in line with safety requirements, paying particular attention to the 5 Golden Rules and correct use of the protective equipment. 

Teamwork has been required to develop the tool, with the participation of technicians and Substation operating specialists, analysing and debugging the different operating cases, including human and equipment faults, to include all the situations that may arise in real life. 

In short, Virtual Training will allow for safe initial contact with the switching operations and ongoing training for operators, with a similar philosophy and functioning to a “flight simulator for pilots”. 

With Virtual Training, Viesgo enhances its support for new technologies, virtual reality, improved training for its employees and, therefore, help reduce the number of incidents associated to this activity. 

Authors: Rafael Mínguez Matorras and José Ángel Padilla. (With the contribution of César González Blanco)

Benefits of renewable energies

Renewable energies are on the rise, making them a sector with great potential and also the future of energy transition. This term is widely used in the energy sector that seeks to change the way energy is generated and consumed, supporting the decarbonisation of the economy and the generation of energies through renewables. But what are renewable energies? To give a simple definition, they are obtained from inexhaustible natural sources: some due to the immense quantity of energy they contain, and others because they are capable of being regenerated by natural resources. Although at Viesgo we have the first three, the following are included:

  • Wind energy
  • Hydraulic energy
  • Mini-hydraulic energy
  • Photovoltaic energy
  • Solar energy
  • Biomass energy
  • Sea-based energy, such as tidal power, ocean energy, current energy, ocean thermal energy and osmotic power.
  • Geothermal energy

What are the benefits of renewable energies?

All these energies offer advantages wherever they are implemented:

  • Reduction in energy dependency due to local sources. This leads to energy independence, as they are stable, local resources that also encourage the economic development of the region, promoting its autonomy.
  • Inexhaustible” sources.
  • They do not generate waste and any that is generated is easy to process.
  • They do not produce CO 2 and other pollutant gases and any that are produced, such as in the case of burning biomass, are considered a neutral balance of emissions because their combustion does not favour an increase in greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Impact of the Paris agreement on renewables

Over recent decades, the speed at which renewable energies is implemented has increased gradually, as they are essential in the fight against climate change. The installation of and support for these resources involves a reduction in greenhouse gases and responds to and complies with the agreements reached between the different countries and, more particularly, the 2015 Paris Agreement. Following the 21 st Conference of the Parties, the signatories agreed to reduce pollutant gas emissions to slow down the increase in global temperature to below 2ºC in relation to pre-
industrial levels, and to make every additional effort to ensure it does not exceed 1.5ºC. This Agreement was ratified by the European Union on 4 th October 2016.
In view of this European context, Spain has transcribed these goals to three basic policies: the Climate Change and Energy Transition Law, the 2021-2030 Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (PNIEC), and the Fair Transition Strategy, establishing even more ambitious goals that the European Union. As indicated in the PNIEC sent for EU approval, these goals are:

  • 21% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) in relation to 1990.
  • 42% renewable energies in relation to the total end consumption of energy for the entire EU.
  • 39.6% improvement in energy efficiency.
  • 74% renewable in electricity generation.

In short, the global use of renewable energies must be considered on three mainstays:

  1. Energy independence of the countries, it being a stable and local resource.
  2. Change in economic models from a centralised generation system to a more distributed system.
  3. Fighting climate change.

Author: José Melguizo, Viesgo Renovables

What is the green cent?

What is the green cent?

The green cent is the colloquial name given to the Special Hydrocarbons Tax applicable to petrol and diesel and, more relevant to the electricity sector, natural gas. 

This figure, approved by Special Tax Law 38/1992, was first amended by Law 15/2012 on tax measures for energy sustainability, and then by Royal Decree Law 15/2018 on urgent measures for the energy transition and consumer protection. 

In the manner in which it was in force since 2012, this tax provided the electricity sector with significant revenues from electricity generation using natural gas and from the end consumption of this fuel. For example, 560 million euros were earned through this in 2017 (according to the end of year forecast of the CNMC included in the report on the toll order proposal of 2018 ref. IPN/CNMC/045/17).


Electricity generation and the green cent

However, in late 2018, RD-Law 15/2018 changed the configuration of the green cent, introducing an exemption to “the production of electricity in power plants or the production of electricity or the co-generation of electricity and heat in combined power plants”. In other words, since the end of 2018 combined cycle power plants and natural gas co-generation plants do not have to pay this tax. 

The justification of the Royal Decree was that combined cycle power plants transfer this tax in their offers to the market and, therefore, the exemption “will eliminate the multiplying effect” on wholesale market prices, moderating its bullish evolution, which was one of the goals of the regulation. 

This exemption, however, does not include coal-powered plants, which continue to pay the special tax on this fuel. For 2019, the CNMC expects this special coal tax to contribute 280 million euros to the electricity system (according to the forecast by the CNMC included in the report on the toll order proposal of 2019, INF/DE/097/18). 

What is energy taxation so important?

The main goal of the taxes is to fund public expenditure and, in the case of special hydrocarbon and coal taxes, the costs of the electricity system. 

However, the tax can also be used to encourage or penalise the decisions of the players to guide them in one direction or the other. Therefore, energy taxation is considered a key aspect in energy transition, because it can contribute towards the progressive replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energies or electrification, to give two examples. 

Taxes can be used to internalise the environmental costs of the different energy vectors at their price, enabling players to observe the environmental impact generated by their decisions regarding consumption or production. 

This is known as following the principle of “who pollutes pays” that, together with those of non-discrimination or technology neutrality, should form the basis of energy taxation. 

Author: Viesgo Regulations Team

What is the electronic meter?

The remotely managed meter as a key part of energy transition 

The electricity sector is immersed in a transition process to ensure more respect for the environment. To make this change possible, the electricity grids will play an essential role as a connecting link between highly distributed renewable generation and the end users of the energy. Customers are playing an active role in the generation of electricity by requesting useful information to manage their demand. 

Transformation of the electricity grids into Smart Grids is now a reality in the energy sector, the deployment of electronic meters is one of the mainstays of grid digitalisation. In Spain, 100% of all delivery points have an electronic meter, the installation of which has gradual, at no cost to the end user. 

How does a smart meter work?

Its workings are very simple. The distributor company installs the meter on the boundary of the property between the distributor company and the end customer. The customer can either purchase the meter or pay a monthly rent that includes installation and maintenance costs and that is regulated on the Spanish market. The vast majority of customers have chosen to rent it. Once installed, the electronic meter records the energy consumed or generated and sends this information over the low-voltage electricity grid (a system known as PLC). This is a very safe, reliable and low-cost communications system.

The mass implementation of smart meters has generated major advantages to customers: 

  • Financial savings by contracting more flexible commercial tariffs
  • Reduction in consumption based on information on the times when the energy was consumed 
  • Reduction in time required to process new connections or re-connections
  • Reduction in system losses
  • Greater safety for installations
  • Better supply quality. 

Smart meters have the capacity to measure the energy consumed and generated and facilitate the development of self-consumption. They can be installed without any increase in the costs associated to energy metering. 

In short, electronic meters are already installed in all Spanish homes, they are providing instant advantages for customers and will play a key role in the energy transition process. The first steps of energy transition have already been taken and at Viesgo we are particularly proud to head this change.

Author: Gabriela Vázquez, Viesgo Distribución

Safety as a business value

As well as being a legal and social obligation in business organisations, occupational risk prevent provides qualitative and quantitative advantages and is an undeniable part of the success achieved. Concepts such as the brand value and prestige, corporate social responsibility, productivity, investor confidence, motivation and employee commitment are intrinsically linked to excellence. Safety as a business value must be a pivoting concept and value that combines the best production practices and helps show the social responsibility of a company, protects and improves image, reputation and brand value, and maximises productivity by reducing costs. 

Safety as a business value includes incentives, covers risks, has financial and social repercussions on the balance sheet and acts as consolidation leverage in the market niche, motivating other organisations to implement a commitment and strategy on the subject. The market economy and a society that is increasingly sensitised to the preventive culture have led many companies to consider risk prevention as a core and binding element for brand prestige and investor confidence, establishing positive commitments for all parties, generating important synergies in productivity and effectiveness. 

All corporate social responsibility should include and promote values of preventive excellence, considering them not only as the set of rules that must be followed but also a force generating changes in attitude on all levels, and should not be an obstacle but a condition, an asset for the success of the business project. Risk prevention is the essential value for achieving this social responsibility as a guarantee of respect for the basic rights of workers, paving the way for business excellence, ensuring competitiveness and efficiency and obtaining the result sought by social and prevention-responsible organisations. 

Prevention as a priority

Safety as a business value is more easily understood if we consider the employees, their professional development and their healthy working conditions as one of the essential aims of the company and of its strategic goals. Prevention is a cost to the company, especially during the initial stages, but its efficient implementation must generate benefits in the widest sense and in improving competitiveness. Current market and society demands should encourage the special contribution of prevention to the social responsibility of companies and their future. 

The reputation of a company, linked to the brand value and generated by good governance, is the most valuable intangible asset of an organisation. It is proven that excellent companies go beyond compliance with minimum levels of regulations and optimise their efforts to generate value in all their activities. Occupational risk prevention is a priority due to its significance on the business activity and its repercussions on internal and external players. Assuming behaviour, not only that regulated by law but also that of a moral type, must be prioritised and assumed as strictly as possible to reach the milestone of excellence as an organisation. It can be said unwaveringly that there is a direct relationship between the occupational risk prevention undertaken in an organisation and the level of business excellence reasoned. 

Work safety as main value

Safety as a business value should be a principle that guides behaviour, exceeding the limits of the organisation with good practices, and positive and proactive attitudes. It cannot remain merely an obligation or a priority, it must be a value that guides the conduct of people towards better practices as vectors of change in our communities in search of excellence. 

Sensitisation, commitment, motivation, investment, production and profitability are the parts of an inseparable whole. Excellence in prevention is fundamental and undeniable and must guide all actions and commitments, making innovation a key and differentiating elements that guarantees competitiveness. Occupational risk prevention and caring for working conditions must form a substantial part of the general system of business management and be fully integrated into it, finding its own level of excellence and contributing towards the sustainability of the organisation in the best way possible. The message must be clear and concise. Safety as a business value is good business.

Author: José Melguizo, Viesgo Renovables