In this live studio interview with Engerati at Asian Utility Week, Paul Nelsen, Senior Director of Smart Grid APAC, Itron talks about how Itron is helping utilities make the transition from “traditional” to “smart.”
Overcoming challenges with multi-purpose solution
He explains that smart technology solutions are being applied to help utilities tackle a number of challenges such as supply, distribution and transmission constraints, renewable energy goals, customer expectations, as well as technical and non-technical losses.
To get the best value from smart tech investments, Mr Nelsen suggests that utilities opt for multi-purpose solutions so that a wide range of purposes are covered. The solution should meet the needs of multiple departments.
He points out: “The big process challenge for Asian utilities is around breaking traditional walls and collaborating on a single vision for the outcome.”
Focus on end result
Smart technology has been around for at least a decade. Therefore, Asia’s utilities are now in a position to learn from the wealth of knowledge and experience utilities and vendors have today.
Mr Nelsen says that Itron recognises South East Asia as a significant growth driver for their business as the region’s energy industry is being exposed to many opportunities. He says, “The region’s electricity industry is experiencing a great deal of expansion. There is a lot of interest in smart cities and generally improving quality of life for everyone. This fits well with our vision of being more resourceful.”
In conclusion, Mr Nelsen recommends that utilities ‘begin with the end in mind’ when it comes to tackling projects. “There is a large opportunity for transformation and it’s important to define a vision which includes the possibilities that are 10 years out. Put a plan in place to support a long term vision.”