In a live studio interview at Asian Utility Week, Sonita Lontoh, Head of Global Corporate Marketing, Trilliant, speaks about how Trilliant’s global experience with a diverse range of leading utilities enables them to offer customers unique solutions to suit specific needs because “no one size fits all” when it comes to grid modernization efforts.
Understanding context and drivers for long term planning
This uniqueness is as a result of utilities having to operate under their country’s specific regulations. She adds that foreign investors often view Asia as one region. “It is in fact a big and diverse region and there are developed and developing countries within this area too.”
Smart grid drivers also vary especially when comparing developed and developing countries. For instance, developed countries are aiming to improve energy efficiency levels and connect smart appliances and technologies whereas developing countries (such as those located in Southeast Asia) want to meet demand, improve reliability and electrification rates and reduce non-technical losses.
Ms Lontoh explains that when partnering with utilities, it is important to understand the specific context and drivers. She recommends: “Deploy a smart grid application that best meets a customer’s needs today, as well as the needs of tomorrow. The solution should evolve with them going forward.”
Lessons to be applied in Asia
Ms Lontoh shares three lessons which can be applied to Asia:
The energy sector must have a long-term, sustainable comprehensive policy which can help the country’s global competitiveness.
Interoperability of technology
Education of the consumer and better stakeholder engagement.
She adds that it is also important to transform high quality and granular data into actions and deliver benefits for all those concerned. When it comes to Internet of Things ( IoT), Ms Lontoh says that the appropriate foundational platform should be put into place from the get go. “Smart city infrastructure must leverage the same network that was put in by the utilities to enable smart cities. The vision is then to enable the connection of even more technologies on the same platform. The end goal is to create efficient, cleaner, safer and more sustainable lifestyles starting from the smart grid platform to the smart city and then IoT.”
In conclusion, Ms Lontoh advises that the grid modernization effort should be viewed as a journey. Also, plan long-term, especially when choosing technologies, as utilities should be able to add new applications to technology solutions as they grow. Finally, she says that all stakeholders should work together to find a common ground so that everyone can move forward as a whole instead of focusing on specifics.