Editorial: Engerati heads to Utility Week Live

The exhibition and conference in Birmingham demonstrates the tools and equipment that will be needed to develop the utilities of the future.
Published: Wed 22 May 2019

May has been a busy month at Engerati. Following the comprehensive ENTSO-E and E.DSO Innogrid2020+ event in Brussels last week we head up to Birmingham to film some interviews with speakers and exhibitors on innovative energy solutions at Utility Week Live.

Utility Week Live attendees are getting a glimpse of what the utility of the future will look like, with leading figures from the power, gas and water sectors giving insights into their strategies to equip themselves with the tools they need to ride out the energy transition. It is clear that while technology has made enormous progress in recent years, digitalisation by itself will not be enough to achieve the ambitious goals climate scientists are telling the industry it must aspire to. Regulatory frameworks and company culture need to catch up, and the vested interests of incumbent suppliers must sometimes be hurdled.

We see energy companies continuing along the acquisition trail to propel themselves into the new digital world, with Engie snapping up software company Genbright, which manages a portfolio of demand response resources on a market platform. Innogy Innovation Hub has invested in GreenCom Networks, which operates a distributed energy platform for domestic demand response services. And Iberdrola is inviting applications by 30 June from start-ups to manage the impact of extreme weather events with the prize being a pilot project and potential investment.

This week we speak to IBM about the main challenges ahead for utility sector digitalisation, and to Faraday Grid about their plans to expand. Soon we will announce the first ever Engerati advisory board, gathering experts from different perspectives to guide future content.

 

Over the coming weeks we will be covering preliminary results from several Horizon 2020 projects that will end this year. Watch out for our E-book wrapping up our digitalisation theme, and a webinar with solution provider association Smarten with an update on balancing markets in Europe and how demand response and storage services can operate within them.

Our special focus on Spain and Portugal will start with coverage of the 25th CIRED conference and exhibition on electricity distribution in Madrid, and will feature a drill-down into the regulatory regime of those countries relating to energy sector digitalisation, and interviews with Iberdrola, EDP, the Spanish association of electricity companies AELEC and consultants olivoENERGY.

Underlying all these frenetic activities is the urgent need to be mindful of cyber security, which should be dealt with alongside all digital development projects. “Applying principles we knew in the past in not nearly good enough,” said Anjos Nijk of the European Network on Cyber Security at Innogrid last week.

Engerati will focus on cyber security in July. If you would like to share your views and solutions for cyber solutions with our members and social media followers, please get in touch.