Asia’s Utilities Should Take Bolder Steps Toward Digitisation

To enjoy the benefits of smart infrastructure, Asia should learn from other successful projects around the world.
Published: Fri 24 Jul 2015

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In a live studio interview at Asian Utility Week 2015, Huw Wilkinson, Director of Strategic Markets, Silver Spring Networks, says there are many significant opportunities for smart technologies in Asia because the region is undergoing unprecedented economic expansion and social change.

This change is forcing the government and society in general to improve living standards and quality of life and the way in which to do this is through the implementation of smart infrastructure.

Global learnings will fast track implementation

Mr Wilkinson points out that Asia should not have to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to implementing smart infrastructure. He says that the region should look to other countries that have already embarked on this journey and draw on these learnings instead of adopting a somewhat conservative nature where many pilots and 'little' tests are slowing down the implementation of technology platforms that they so desperately need.

By learning from other countries’ smart grid developments and the standards they have implemented, Asia’s utilities can avoid unnecessary risk, he explains.

Aiming for market competitiveness

Asia’s governments also need to be more supportive in the digitisation journey. He says that governments should help utilities to embrace this transformation because if they don’t, there will be countries that will become less competitive which will have a knock on effect for the entire region. He also explains the importance of utilities really understanding and meeting customers’ changing needs, as well as creating benefits for them.  

He concludes with this eye-opening message: “Choose things that are proven and standards based. Don’t be afraid to take those steps because if you don’t your neighbour will and you won’t be as competitive.”