Utilities See Grid Digitisation as the Way Forward

While utilities start planning to digitize their operations, there are still challenges which must be overcome.
Published: Thu 20 Nov 2014

In this live studio interview with Engerati at the European Utility Week, Andreas Umbach, CEO of Landis+Gyr discusses the changing face of the European energy industry and how his company is adapting to meet new developments.

Digitisation is growing

He says that utilities are realising that digitisation is the way forward in order to cope with all the changes occurring within the energy industry such as renewable integration and data. Smart grid deployment and development is growing and there is a huge emphasis on data and analytics. Umbach says that there is a wide range of technologies being introduced to the market and this, in itself, creates a big challenge for utilities as they decide which ones are most suitable for their business needs.

Umbach suggests that utilities start with the base investment in the smart metering network. “They must ensure that the network is powerful and open enough so that they can automate other parts of the grid in the future. So, they should start on developing their smart grid and then they can add the functionalities and focus on areas of the grid which requires automation.”

Uncertainty slows smart technology adoption

While there are many utilities planning the digitisation of the network, there are those who are still not deploying the solutions fast enough, explains Umbach. He says this is due mostly to uncertainty around the transformation within the industry (renewables, prosumers etc), economic health of utilities and regulatory issues. He adds that subsidies should be in place to encourage the development of the smart grid.

Umbach points out there is a great deal of potential in the service area and Landis+Gyr is responding to this by adding more technological solutions and acquisitions to their portfolio that focus on this trend.