What Utilities can Expect From Smart Tech in 2016
The amount of money invested in smart grid technologies to date is no secret. Utilities have spent vast amounts of time and money investing in technologies that make the electric grid more efficient, reliable and cost effective. Yet, as 2015 has come to a close and utility executives evaluate the progress that has been made, many are thinking seriously about what lies ahead in 2016 for the smart grid, including what opportunities and challenges they will face over the next year. To prepare them for this discussion, executives should be thinking about the following:
The re-evaluation of current programs
To move forward, it is important for utilities to reflect over the last year and evaluate not only what has been working for them as they have begun rolling out programs to modernize their infrastructures but also, just as importantly, what has not. Even with grid restructuring programs in place, and expected growth to follow, there may be some solutions that are not worth more investment. On the other hand, many new innovations that are worth exploring might have popped up over the last 12 months.
opportunities (and growing pains) in developing countries
Another area where utilities are sure to find opportunity in 2016 are in exploring new regions such as those in the Asia-Pacific and Sub-Saharan Africa. These regions are looking for modern solutions to power their communities-both for electricity purposes and to support a better quality of life for residents. In fact, they are expected to experience extreme smart grid demand and growth as utilities in those areas seek new ways to deal with the escalating demand for electricity.
Having the tools to correctly analyze and manage energy usage will allow utilities to create a broader functioning grid that can expedite the entire country’s development and success. Of course, putting down roots in these regions will inevitably create growing pains, such as the need to install a smart grid infrastructure. Once the implementation and utilization of smart grid solutions in these regions is put in place, however, utilities will be able to become more efficient in power distribution, management and customer expansion.
Explore big data analytics
The smart grid data analytics market is also expected to see explosive growth. In fact, the global smart grid data analytics market is anticipated to triple by 2022. Now that utilities have invested in deploying intelligent devices (sensors, advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), micro-grids, advanced distribution management, remote asset monitoring and more) to modernize their infrastructures it is time for them to determine how to use the data generated from these devices to unlock the value and recover the implementation costs.