As the grid continues to evolve, the absence of defined communication standards is one of the biggest technological challenges to transition to smart grids. Budgets and entrenched approaches to change management also mean that utilities continue to roll out their smart grid projects in silos, with no shared platforms, which result in cumbersome and disjointed operations. The array of communications technologies abounds - but which are future-proof and which will become obsolete as the grid evolves?
Advanced communication technologies also yield a huge quantity of data, which can offer real-time load information, consumption pattern analysis, and optimise network operation. However, its sheer volume presents many challenges - classifying and analyzing data is considered time consuming and costly by many utilities, who are yet to be persuaded of its business value.
With so much dependence on ICT and data available in the network, privacy and cyber security have become the industry hot potato discussed across platforms - from consumer forums to a high level political stage.
Moderator: Roberta Bigliani, Head - Europe, Middle East & Africa, IDC Energy Insights, Italy