The metaverse is the blending of the physical world with virtual worlds, where a host of new technologies and experiences will revolutionise the way companies socialise, purchase and also operate.
Thus, one can interact with all elements of this virtual world, usually through an avatar, in much the same way as in “real life”.
This technology has a variety of uses, from entertainment (similar to video games) to training (as a training method halfway between theory and practice). And given its versatility, it can be useful in many sectors, including energy. In fact, it is already being talked about as one of the most cutting-edge technologies in the near future.
The metaverse can be an opportunity for the energy sector. As with any technological advance, the possibilities will be exponential as its use becomes more popular, but initially we can envisage three ways to take advantage of it:
As we have seen, the possibilities in industry, and in the energy sector, are vast. But, in fact, it is already a reality. The first virtual factory set in a metaverse environment was recently opened in South Korea, where by using virtual reality goggles, visitors can observe the plastic screw manufacturing process and use the machines. The virtual factory can make adjustments such as the pressure of the injection moulding machine or the speed of the production process, without shutting down the factory.
Even, as mentioned, the digital twins are enhanced by the metaverse, which will be able to take simulation environments to the next level. While the digital twins copy existing equipment, the metaverse requires no connection to physical assets. This will allow them to simulate thousands of possible scenarios for their ecosystems and to choose the best strategies for their companies. In doing so, they not only have real-time information on the performance of their teams, but can also forecast results.
However, in the energy sector, the metaverse has a handicap in terms of energy consumption and, as a result, the increase in emissions that it will entail. The metaverse has to be supported by powerful energy systems. But, in addition, energy will also be needed to create the devices to use the metaverse and other additional activities that are often overlooked.
Thus, the rise of this new sector will require a greater response from the energy sector, which must be able to meet the growing demand for electricity.
The rise of this new sector will require a stronger response from the energy sector, which must be able to meet the growing demand for electricity
This, in a world that already consumes vast amounts of energy but which finds itself in a race against climate change, is a challenge.
The promotion of renewable energy is a key issue in order to, firstly, enable the success of the metaverse by meeting the increased demand for electricity; and secondly, that its success does not pose a risk to the planet by providing sustainable energy. Many technology companies are aware of this and are moving towards the exclusive use of renewable energy or zero-emission certification.
Ultimately, the metaverse offers a wide range of possibilities for all sectors and industries; but it also carries a risk. Fortunately, the way forward is clear and the key players in the sector are aware that the right path is marked by sustainability.