The future holds several opportunities for the utility industry as technology fuels innovation, and sustainability becomes more important than ever before.
FREMONT, CA: Predicting the future of the utility industry can be tricky, but one can foresee certain aspects by considering the current trends. The last few years have been full of transformations for the industry. The same trend is expected to continue as utility companies start leveraging advancing technologies more intensively. Customer expectations will keep evolving with changes in lifestyle, and consumption rates will see an upward rise with increasing industrialization. Sustainability and environmental friendliness are two critical factors that will determine how the industry grows and how the services adapt to changing needs. As all these new dynamics converge with emerging technologies, utility CIOs will play the crucial role of an enabler. Here are a few predictions that will help CIOs in utility companies to develop foresight that can be advantageous for business in the long run.
• The Materialization of Smart Cities will Fuel Innovations
Utilities play a central role in transforming cities into smart cities. From revamping the electricity infrastructure to providing cities with increased supplies, utilities facilitate all the crucial changes. Smart cities aspire to be clean and green. Thus, there will be a growing demand for environmentally friendly sources of energy. Intelligent solutions that can foster green buildings will also find a lot of takers. CIOs can prepare their companies for the adoption of smart metering facilities that grants users the flexibility and control over energy spending and makes pricing transparent. Some companies that used to supply electricity generated from fossil fuels have now added solar energy and wind energy to their portfolios. The future will witness a need for integration of public grids with private solar facilities so as to facilitate peer-to-peer energy trading. A smart infrastructure that promotes energy savings and caters to the modern customers will mark the future.
• Electric Vehicles Charging Stations Presenting New Business Opportunities
In the near future, when public as well as private transportation shifts from fossil fuels to cleaner alternatives, the utility industry will have to be prepared with innovative and smart substitutes. Wider adoption of electric vehicles will be a game-changer. Currently, at a nascent stage, the trend has the potential to disrupt traditional fuelling and service station businesses. Thus, CIOs need to prepare a roadmap for their companies so as to enable a swift transformation to services that have relevance in the future. There will be a definite demand for electric vehicle charging facilities, and utility companies can build technologically advanced and automated charging stations.
• Growing Regulations and Stranded Assets will Necessitate Reforms
With leading international organizations and national governments coming together to save the environment from further damage, the utility industry can expect regulations that limit emissions substantially. The measures that are aimed at reducing the carbon footprint can alter the future of utilities. Although it is difficult to ensure compliance at once, CIOs can formulate strategies to help companies remodel operations. In the process, many utility firms might face the problem of stranded assets. Almost half of the global greenhouse emissions are produced by oil and gas companies. In the near future, these companies will have to ensure full-scale transformation and eliminate carbon-heavy processing operations. One way in which CIOs can help utility companies minimize transition-related losses is through the implementation of smart third party solutions that make use of technologies like data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning.
The utility firms are walking into a future of technology-enabled disruptions where traditional infrastructure and operations will gradually be replaced by smart alternatives which are sustainable, and customer-centric. CIOs can leverage these insights to help build technological capacity and prepare a foolproof plan for growth-oriented business opportunities.