Supporting Energy Supply, Reducing Carbon Emissions with David Holmes, General Manager of Energy at Dell Technologies

In this episode, David discuss how edge computing and technology can help improve sustainability.
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A pragmatic climate optimist, David leads Dell Technologies Energy business with a focus on accelerating the energy transition, advancing decarbonization and maintaining energy security. David leads a global team responsible for solutions development, energy sustainability, partnerships, product strategy, and go to market. The team is known for its industry expertise, and they’ve shown the transformational impact of technology in the Energy industry. A firm believer in the value of community led open industry standards, David was elected to The Open Group OSDU Forum Management Committee and is also a member of the GridWise Alliance Policy Committee. He has previously served on industry bodies including the European ECIM Management Committee and SPE’s “Petabytes in Asset Management.” He has delivered several technical papers at conferences around the world and holds patents for his work on the remote visualization of geotechnical applications and workflow optimization.

This episode of Over the Edge features an interview between Matt Trifiro and David Holmes, GM of Energy at Dell Technologies. David is involved in advancing decarbonization and the transition to sustainable energy. He works to understand the problems that energy companies are facing, so that operators and regulators can be more aligned when reducing their carbon footprints.

In this episode, Matt and David discuss the challenges of a global increase in energy consumption. David explains the need to advance energy systems and technology in order to reduce CO2 emissions. He dives into the importance of making energy not only sustainable, but abundant, affordable, and reliable. David also details how edge computing and use of certain technologies can help improve sustainability.


Key Quotes:

“As demand for energy is dramatically growing, we need to completely transform our energy systems to reduce CO2 emissions on a massive scale. And it’s that tension that gets me out of bed every morning – understanding the role of technology in supporting the growth of supply of energy, whilst at the same time dramatically reducing carbon emissions.”

“For me, a lot of what edge computing is really about is thinking: “How can we bring the best capabilities of operational technologists and informational technologists together to build a contemporary IT environment that supports the needs of the energy industry for national, critical infrastructure.”

“It’s the wild frontier of managing our energy systems, and solving some of these problems is going to be critical. But guess what? None of it is going to work without a huge amount of edge technology deployed at scale with much greater computational capability than is available today.”

“There’s two problems that the OT industry faces: reliability and resilience, which are absolutely critical. They have to keep the lights on. And in the current world in which we live, that means cyber resilience becomes one of the most important challenges that any energy company has to address.”

“There is going to be compute and data across the entire continuum, right from that little valve all the way up to a hyperscale data center. And the people who are going to be successful are the people who work out the right technical and economic places to run all of these different workloads.”

“I’ve got three goals. Number one, accelerate the energy transition. Number two, advance decarbonization. And number three, ensure global energy security. And I have the entire resources of Dell’s engineering portfolio to help me build the solutions that are going to let me do those three things.”


Show Timestamps:

02:12 – David’s technology origin story

06:58 – The increasing demand for energy

08:08 – The climate consequences of technology

11:07 – Applying technology to help reach sustainability goals

19:47 – Edge computing in the power industry

22:07 – The intersection of IT and OT

24:02 – Challenges the OT industry faces

24:48 – Taking a contemporary approach to edge computing

33:18 – Aligning operators and regulators

35:58 – The wild frontier of energy systems

38:14 – Adopting realistic cloud computing principles

40:09 – David’s team’s goals

47:26 – Defining where the edge is

52:05 – The future of computing

53:22 – David’s daily motivation



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