It’s budget time at Metering & Smart Energy International and as part of our annual process, we do a deeper than normal dive into what is happening in the sector, devouring as many reports and insights as we can before moving on to more personal engagements with our readers and advertisers.
This year is no different and, as such I have been reading the PWC Annual CEO Survey for 2016 among other things.
Interestingly enough, the concerns are the same as they have been for the last 2 - 3 years, although the urgency with which they need to be addressed has increased significantly. This is particularly true for the need to address technological change and consumer usage patterns and behaviour.
At the core of their challenges, is the changing nature of the utility sector, and of those interviewed, 93% believe they need to focus on long-term profitability, rather than short-term gains.
The most significant concern raised, however, is over-regulation, with "86% say it could threaten growth – as well as government responses to debt and deficits (71%) and an increasing tax burden (67%).”
Do these findings resonate with your utility experience? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
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The US Department of Energy (DoE) announced $34 million in funding to enhance the security of the country’s grid against cyber attacks. The funding will be directed towards research on cyber security technologies, with 12 projects benefiting from the money. [US DoE issues $34m grant for grid security]. The capital will be channeled to the projects through three programmes namely the Obama Administration's focus on energy-based infrastructure, the Office of Electricity Delivery and the Cybersecurity of Energy Delivery Systems.
A new report forecasts the global energy management systems market to grow by 18.8% between 2016 and 2021. The growth will increase market revenue generation from $76.75 billion in 2016 to $32.41 billion by 2021. [Global energy management to generate $32.4bn by 2021]. Factors driving the expansion of the market include increased implementation of policies to adopt energy management measures in a bid to ensure grid reliabilities and lower carbon emissions.
In the US, the Washington state government announced $12.6 million in funding for clean energy projects to promote grid stability. In a press statement, Jay Inslee, governor of Washington state, said the grants will be directed towards funding clean energy projects proposed by five utilities. [US state gov issues $12.6m to boost clean energy use]. “With these awards, our leading utilities will demonstrate how to integrate battery storage with solar energy and stand-alone energy systems, train the workforce to build and maintain these systems, and lead the industry into the clean energy future,” said the governor.