Pedro Carmo - Director & Consulting Expert, Energy Transition & Decarbonisation

 

My career journey from Portugal to Australia

Throughout my career at CGI I have been supported to develop my skills across many technologies, industries and even countries. I first moved to Australia from my home country of Portugal in 2008, where I spent several years working with geographic information systems (GE Smallworld and ESRI ArcGIS) and outage management systems (GE Power ON, Oracle NMS). Gradually I’ve also learned a lot about asset management (IBM Maximo). Around 2010 I undertook training on TOGAF 9 to become a certified enterprise architect. I was in Melbourne from 2008 to 2012 and in Sydney until 2016, and during these amazing 8 years in Australia, I was privileged to work alongside great people on great projects across a variety of industries and market sectors. The ones I remember best include Essential Energy, Sydney Trains, Transpower (NZ), Transgrid, APA and PWC (Power and Water Corporation)

Then in 2016, I decided to move back to Portugal to take a break and figure out what my next role would be. Soon after I landed, CGI Portugal reached out to me and offered me a role in the renewables and smartgrid group as the lead business developer, for North America and the UK, of our IP RMS (Renewables Management System and Sm@rtering (smartgrid, smart metering). Again I was privileged to work alongside great people in Portugal, but also across North America and the UK, with which I’ve learned a lot about renewable energy operations, smart metering, demand side control, society electrification and industry decarbonisation.

This time it was my wife who championed our return to Australia earlier this year so she could pursue her professional interests as a psychologist. It didn’t take much to convince me: I was keen to reconnect with CGI’s talented Australian team and as luck would have it, I had a job offer waiting in my email within two weeks. Today I’m part of CGI’s Sydney-based team, helping develop our Energy Transition, Decarbonisation and IT/OT consulting services capability.

Seizing once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

I see Australia as having an incredible opportunity to become a global powerhouse in renewable energy generation, decarbonised manufacturing and a leader in sustainability – Between updated government policies and the industry will to invest, the environment is finally right to do something truly amazing here.

From a renewable generation (utility scale) perspective we are behind Europe and North America, but from a  DER (Distributed Energy Resources) perspective we are on par or even ahead. You can easily see that from the number of rooftop solar panels you see around your neighborhood. Some are even coupling solar panels with batteries. Regarding EVs (Electric Vehicles), you don’t see them so much in the streets and EV charging stations are still not common, but they will come.

The balance between supply and demand is extremely important. The network operators, both transmission and distribution, need to keep track of where and how much energy is being produced and consumed. Some level of orchestration or demand side control will be required and of course energy supply/demand planning and forecasting is needed. The days of one direction energy flows are over and the decentralisation of the energy flows have just begun.

In my view, the future will bring this “spider web” of energy networks where consumers, communities and industries will be both producers and a consumers of energy.

Ultimately, a country, and the world, will only be sustainable, if we can all transition to consume less energy, decarbonise energy production and support a circular economy. 

From an IT perspective, underlying all of this is reliable real-time data underpinned by bidirectional real-time communication, smart analytical, AI/ML enabled tools that derive insights you can act on. As CGI Australia’s Director Consulting Expert - Energy Transition and Decarbonisation, my initial challenges include understanding the Australian market key issues by listen to colleagues, existing and potential clients to figure out how we can leverage our local and global capabilities (people, tools and processes) to deliver value added services to the market.

My goal is to draw on my consulting expertise in renewable operations, DERMS and the energy value chain, to position CGI Australia as part of the solution driving sustainable energy.