The intersection of user empowerment and enrichment of technology adoption is opening the door for new business models and opportunities for utilities.
FREMONT, CA: As forces of change in the utilities and energy sector accelerate, enterprises are tapping modern technologies to serve increasingly sophisticated clients and enhance operational efficiencies. Flexible regulatory initiatives are surfacing to bring new opportunities to utilities in the future. Businesses driven by technological, regulatory and competitive forces, E&U companies are gearing up to economize and gain customer confidence through innovation, technology transformation and resilience. Here are some key trends shaping the E&U industry.
• Energy Storage Disrupting Consumption
Due to the price drop of batteries, the E&U industries outlook in terms of energy production has changed. Energy storage is all set to provide consistent energy flow at lower prices coupled with Distributed Energy Resources (DERs). Low-cost energy storage will pull down the requirement for coal and natural gas. It will also boost renewable production and set the tone for innovative storage solutions and the use of smart energy devices.
• Renewable Energy Taking Center Stage
Renewable energy technologies and companies have already placed the disruptive ball rolling in the E&U industry. To stay relevant, traditional E&U businesses will increase their investments in renewable energy. Well-known businesses will go up against the competitive ante by setting up their solar and wind farms. These businesses will eventually emerge as alternative energy providers that will tap into the fast-growing clean energy market. From big companies to start-ups, these ‘go green’ champions are set to disrupt the energy generation mix and ownership to reimagine the energy market.
• Digitization Fueling Sharing Economies
Digital technologies will enhance the E&U operations across the value chain. Energy generation will be redefined by the application of decentralized networks of intelligent, flexible and self-serve units to ramp up, balance and diagnose demand. Intelligent automation using Artificial Intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) will increase the efficiencies for demand responsiveness and optimize costs. Digitization will also allow electricity asset owners, and consumers to price and trade energy in decentralized businesses based on market value. Smart contracts and blockchain and will bring in transparency and confidence in the distribution process
According to research, the smart home market will be worth $138 Billion in the near future, empowering customers to monitor real-time energy consumption. It will help in managing energy costs with single-switching systems between home devices. The empowered consumer base will require redefined business models to address the heightened customer calls for flexibility.
• Combating Physical and Cybersecurity
The expansion of decentralized and interconnected smart energy assets generates greater vulnerability to malicious security breaches. The E&U industry and government companies will step up to predict and limit such risks. Ethical hackers can be recruited to anticipate and manage cyberattacks proactively. They can create compelling data and access prioritization and also increase the use of blockchain technology.
The E&U business focuses on discovering the sweet spot that integrates customer requirements for higher and better cost control, flexibility and innovative models of services. Productive energy-as-a-service business models promote energy efficiency and lessen the cost of best practices in energy management for the users.