In December 2019 Repsol was the first oil company to announce its commitment to being a net zero emissions company by 2050.
To achieve this goal, the company started working on digital solutions that would enable it to know the impact of different actions on its decarbonisation objectives in advance. Thus, a need arose to have a digital tool for analysing and selecting these actions as efficiently as possible.
Technology had to play a key role in this project. This is why data, AI and digital development product specialists, sustainability experts with an academic outlook and business managers had to work together. This array of skills allowed us to build a digital product under the right methodology and with the technical rigour that sustainability solutions require.
AI at the service of sustainability.
NetZero helps the company in its decision-making process because it enables it to assess the impact of its actions on its road to decarbonisation.
This product allows simulations to be made and the carbon intensity indicator (CII) – the metric that measures a company’s decarbonisation efforts – efficiently calculated. In addition, AI can optimise future scenarios to visualise the emission reduction potential of several technologies.
The NetZero tool is a digital product that was entirely built on Microsoft Azure’s cloud and uses some of its managed services, such as SQL Server, Container Registry and Azure Compute, to shorten lead times. Likewise, it uses genetic algorithms to run the optimisation processes and the .NET and Vue technologies to control and monitor the simulation and optimisation processes.
NetZero, a product built on Azure.
Goal: to facilitate the decision-making process.
The project to build NetZero was divided in two phases to facilitate the decision-making process.
During the first phase, a system for automating the calculation of the CII according to different time horizons was created based on the calculation methodology and systems used by Repsol. This automation process allows the time teams spend doing calculation tasks to be cut down, thus improving the calculation efficiency.
The second phase consisted in building a system for simulating and optimising the calculation of the CII in order to know the impact of abatement technologies in future scenarios.
Decarbonisation levers such as renewable generation, energy efficiency, renewable fuels, etc were simulated to assess their impact on the path to decarbonisation in the short/medium and long terms.
The optimisations allow potential scenarios to be generated by means of AI whilst maintaining user-defined decarbonisation levels.
With these functionalities, NetZero enabled Repsol to improve the efficiency of the calculation of its CII and helped it to make strategic decisions
From idea to minimum viable product in just 3 months.
A digital product needs to be built iteratively and incrementally, a minimum version thereof with the key functionalities that provide value to the company being prioritised.
We started this project with a 3-week fast prototyping stage, where we were able to come up with a prototype that included the basic structure of the product by means of a user interface that had some of the required functionalities.
We subsequently scaled this product up to an MVP by adding more detail in all functionalities and working on the product’s conceptualisation and design. From the MVP we moved on to the scaling phase to extend the product’s final functionality, by jointly working on agile processes and constantly iterating the product.
NetZero is a tool that has several benefits, such as:
Improving the digitisation of the entire process for calculating and monitoring the company’s CII, it being possible to analyse the impact of the decarbonisation levers thereon.
Conducting simulations of the different potential scenarios in the short/medium and long terms until 2050 according to the decarbonisation levers.
Improving the analysis of the data from energy scenarios and comparing and visualizing the latter.
Optimising the different scenarios according to the reduction potential so as to study the most cost-efficient levers on the road to net-zero emissions by 2050.
Improving risk management and energy transition opportunities.
Polaris, nuestro método Agile.
NetZero was jointly created by The Overview Effect, which provided their sustainability and innovation know-how during conceptualisation, and us, Paradigma, which led the development of the MVP and the scaling of the solution.
Thanks to our Agile methodology Polaris, we were able to properly manage the risks when necessary and get high quality results during the execution of the project.
We worked as one team where each member perfectly understood their individual objective, the attainment of which contributed to achieving the project’s final goal.
Sustainability IT&Digital Business Partner at Repsol.