IoT in Utilities: A Look at Future Applications
Are utilities open to sharing data that could lead to cost savings for themselves and consumers?
Schnugg said acceptance is growing, but it’s currently more popular in Western European countries that are more progressive in their thinking and have consortiums to monitor wide areas of the grid.
“They recognize that more data is generally better,” Schnugg said.
Not so long ago, utilities had few incentives to be on the cutting edge of innovation. They valued uptime, security and safety as they should have, the analysts said, and there largely wasn’t any competition.
“Now, innovation needs to happen fast,” Schnugg said. “Business models are changing. There’s more decentralized energy and there’s a need to adopt new technology to drive it.”
Whether IoT and analytics produce useful and actionable information, or address the need for new energy sources is yet to be seen. “The answer is complicated but most certainly yes,” said Chris Moyer, senior director of content and research for Zpryme, an energy-focused researcher based in Austin, Texas.
“The power of AI and ML can speed up the power of data computation and testing for technology related to solar PV, storage, and potentially,” he said, “even fission.”