As decarbonization, deentralization and digitalization continue to affect the energy industry, DSO's are taking on new roles and greater challenges in ensuring a reliable, resilient grid. In the IoT era of OT/IT convergence , where are you in your journey to transformation ?
The digitalization of the energy industry has led to a convergence of operational and informational technologies across metering infrastructures worldwide. This OT/IT convergence brings with it all the benefits of the connected, IoT era such as personal energy management insights, automated energy management and grid transparency. However it has also resulted in increasingly complex OT/IT ecosystems creating with new areas of vulnerability and increasing exposure to attacks.
As homes, offices and cities get smarter, the demand for energy, automation and bandwidth is exploding across the grid. Yet far too many citizens lack access to affordable and reliable broadband in areas for example where traditional Telecommunication companies (Telcos) cannot justify implementations. At a time when so many people are working and learning from home due to the pandemic, this can be particularly problematic.
Smart electricity meters have become key devices within the Internet of Things. Connected to utilities’ systems and platforms, they collect, deliver, and analyze data to manage energy better. Reliable cellular and secure communication technology is essential here. Finding the right partner and set-up can be a complex undertaking.
The life expectancy of a smart meter is round about 15 years. In today’s fast-changing world, a lot can happen during that lifetime. 15 years ago, there were no smart phones, voice assistants or smart homes, no WhatsApp or Bitcoin. These innovations changed the world and everything around them adapted. Also, in the energy industry, things are moving rapidly. Ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions and the need to grow the share of renewable energy sources or the number of EV charging facilities push for faster technological developments in the space of efficient and secure energy management.
Determining the right kind of a smart metering solution is a crucial strategic decision for a utility in the initial stage of a smart meter project planning. The number of available devices, software and communication technologies as well as potential partners is huge, as is the spectrum between the two extremes – namely the component and the turn-key solution. Utility customers can buy all the components for their smart metering solution separately and manage the rollout and the software integration themselves, or they can opt for a turn-key solution and, for instance, rely on a subcontractor to manage the project in its entirety.