Utilities Industry Trends in 2020
Utilities face their own particular challenges in terms of meeting customers’ increasing demands, meeting the expectations of regulators, and understanding a progressively more diverse market.
Executives at each one do their best to figure out which technologies make the most sense in so the company’s goals can be met, and 2020 is looking great!
AI Usage Continues to Rise
We are closer to the Grid of the Future than ever before, with many of our devices working to collect data. Processing this information and deriving actionable particulars from it requires utilities to use Artificial Intelligence systems that can identify significant patterns and then turn them into insights we can use.
There are four primary areas in which AI will be useful for utilities, including the change to renewable energy by evaluating planned renewables’ output projects along with how likely the demand for these will be. It can also assist in preventing power outages by anticipating the exact conditions responsible for them, and learn more about shoppers’ needs thanks to an analysis of their usage patterns via connected home devices like thermostats and more. The monitoring of grid equipment by AI will also play a role in the reduction of waste.
The Advent of Digital Twins
Digital Twins are virtual models of assets in the real world that are used to gain up-to-the-minute performance insights and offer a predictive understanding of performance. These platforms are based in the cloud and show an appreciable reduction in the costs and risks associated with building, maintaining and applying optimal performance strategy.
In the same way that Canadian mobile casino sites, for example, don’t have to worry about constructing, or finding, a land-based venue and then paying rent for it, Digital Twins allow for utilities to better their use of integrated distributed energy resources.
Security Is Tightening Up
The energy sector has become a focus for cyber attackers and utilities need to be proactive in protecting their infrastructure. An extreme example of the kind of havoc security breaches in this sector could wreak could include massive areas affected by power outages and interference being run on local and national financial, sewer, transportation, and water systems.
This technology can support exchanges of peer-to-peer energy by correctly logging financial transactions between people who don’t know or necessarily even trust one another.
The online ledgers created by these systems allow for neighbours with DERs to swap excess energy with one another in a manner that bypasses their local utility entirely. The benefits of this platform include numerous security levels which promote trust in the technology to maintain a single version of events.
This kind of telecommunication is still in its infancy but projects like the Brooklyn Microgrid are revealing its untapped potential.
These mechanics, along with a host of others, give utilities an array of options over 2020 to better serve customers, continue to build the grid of the future, gain in efficiency, improve and evolve, protect the power infrastructure, and save money.