Week in Smart Metering - Driving Value in the Digital Energy Network - Transformation

New business models are driving new ways of doing business, writes Claire Volkwyn, Editor, Metering & Smart Energy International.
Published: Wed 13 Apr 2016

There is a huge amount of transformation taking place across the utility market as we all know. As I write this, I am sitting in the keynote session of the SAP International Utilities conference, taking place in The Hague, Netherlands.

A question posed by James McClellan from SAP in this session is one that gave me pause: Would you have considered the local gas station as a place you could buy bread and milk; or that you would be able to draw money from the till at your local supermarket?

New business models are driving new ways of doing business, bringing new competitors to the landscape and highlighting both opportunities and challenges.

I am at the SAP International utilities conference this week and looking forward to hearing from a number of key utilities such as Snohomish Public Utilities District, Thames Water and EDP. I have the pleasure of moderating the Digital Customer Innovation Track for the next two days, and will be sure to share some of the great utility stories, along with other updates from the market.

Our world is changing - are you ready for it?

More from Metering & Smart Energy International

Global smart grid tech company ECOVA has launched a new customer engagement solution to help utilities improve communication with consumers. The launch of the technology follows the acquisition of data analytics firm Retrofiency by the Washington State headquartered company. [ECOVA unveils new customer engagement tech for utilities]. In a press statement, ECOVA claims its new 'Retrofiency Analytics platform' allows utilities to increase customer satisfaction and adoption of programmes.  

Global digital solutions provider Atos has launched a new data analytics technology to help utilities and energy companies improve their operations. In a press statement, the company said its Atos Codex is for use by organisations operating in data intensive environments such as the utilities, energy, manufacturing sectors and other industries including the retail and telco sectors. [Atos unveils new data analytics tech for utilities]. For the telecoms sector, the French headquartered company claims the tech which is offered as a Software-as-a Service (SaaS) will help firms to boost their revenue.

Global IT company Trimble has launched a new smart water mapping and work management technology to help utilities manage their assets. In a press statement, the company said its new solution 'Trimble Unity 3.0' is a cloud-based GIS centric Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform for smart water management. [US company unveils new solution for smart water utilities]. By using the tech, the US based company claims that utilities will optimise their operations through improved grid asset monitoring achieved through the firm’s GNSS mapping technology integrated in the solution.

US technology giant Microsoft has partnered with home electronics provider Luminous to develop a suite of mobile and web applications for solar inverter technology. The mobile and web applications, powered by the Microsoft Azure Hyperscale cloud, are reported to actively monitor power savings, battery health, and also run predictive maintenance enabling greater energy savings, says a company release. [IoT: Microsoft develops ‘engine of intelligence’ for solar tech]. The Indian home electronics provider’s next generation connected solar inverter is powered by an Internet of Things platform “iQu” from start-up company iBot Control Systems.

The World Bank has launched its Climate Change Action Plan purposed to help countries meet their Paris COP21 pledges. As part of its plan, the international financial institution has set out a goal to double its current contributions to global renewable energy capacity, aiming to add 30 gigawatts of renewables by 2020. [World Bank to double investment in RE by 2020]. According to a statement, the World Bank said that its wants to de-risk investments in renewable energy through policy advice, regulatory reforms, direct investment funding and guarantees. Based on these factors, the Bank aims to have added in excess of 20GW in renewable energy capacity over the next five years.