Internet Of Things Comes To Utilities

An energy Internet of Things needs understanding of the use cases across the utility.
Published: Mon 19 Jan 2015

The transformation of the electric grid, with for example the integration of renewable energies, electric vehicles and growing numbers of sensors, is giving rise to an Internet of Things in the energy sector, Regis Hourdouillie, Global Offering Lead, Smart Grid Communications & Control at Ericsson, told Engerati in a the second part of an interview at European Utility Week 2014.

“All of these points need control in (near) real time, as the grid always needs to be controlled and balanced,” Hourdouillie explains.

IoT use cases

Hourdouillie says that telecommunications such as 4G/LTE offers the necessary speed for IoT applications. The major challenge is in developing the use cases.

“Deploying sensors and then actuators is costly, and it is necessary to build the use case for each application in order to monetize it,” he says. That includes both the use case by “silo” and the much stronger “transverse” use case (across the utility).

Technology tipping point for IoT

Hourdouillie believes that for the IoT to materialize on a wider scale there is a need for standardization in the industry. Costs need to drop on technologies such as sensors, storage is important, and in particular so is the software and an IoT platform.

“This is the heart of it, as the smart grid needs decentralized intelligence for decision making.”