Energy and Utilities Systems software technology
The constant rising population has prompted the energy and utility sector to embrace technology to meet the growing and changing demands of consumers all over the world.
The management of all aspects of complex substation automation systems is an ever growing challenge for energy and utilities customers all over the world. However, it need not be. With today’s technology innovation, there are solutions and applications that could help boost the systems.
THE CHALLENGE IN THE ENERGY AND UTILITIES INDUSTRY
MAINTAIN EFFICIENCY IN OPERATION IN AN INCREASINGLY REGULATED INDUSTRY
TECHNOLOGY TRENDS THAT ARE SHAPING THE FUTURE OF THE ENERGY AND UTILITY INDUSTRY
1. Utility business models are changing. For the most part of the 20th century, the role of utility was clear. Build out the grid and power system as an entity that is regulated to achieve economies of scale and maintain it so lights will not go out. Utilities drew regulators when they required new infrastructure and built it while earning a modest revenue. At present, much has changed. Vertically-integrated utility model has been broken up, with separate firms taking responsibility for grid, power plants and at times marketing energy to consumers.
2. Utilities are becoming more customer-centered. The fast growth in grid and home energy technologies has pressured utilities to rethink the customer relationship. Before, power organizations used to consider their consumers as just ratepayers, new home energy technologies and the shifting expectations of customers have pushed them to concentrate on individual consumers. A lot of technologies have started to offer technologies such as mobile applications which enable customers to trace and control energy usage, report outages, pay bills, receive high-bill reports and many more.
3. Utilities buying into storage. As utilities aim to optimize their distribution grids and incorporate more renewables, less technologies hold as much promise as energy storage. The promise of energy storage is the reason why more than 400 utility executives named it as their top emerging technology in a survey. The advances mark the beginnings of a new utility-scale storage chapter.
4. Utilities modernized the grid. With the new utility-scale and distributed renewable capacity on the grid, there is a growing need for utilities to update and modernize their transmission as well as distribution grids. Utilities that supply growing load centers, such as oil and gas drilling operations, already felt the need to build their transmission lines. A modernized grid should be more than installing new lines. It should be able to handle two-way power flows, whereas all the power in the system flowed one-way from a bulk power level down to the customer in the past.
5. Natural gas is growing rapidly. In the near-term, the loss of coal seems to be a gain for natural gas. As market conditions and regulations push older coal generators into retirement, utilities that are looking to add reliable capacity fast are increasingly focusing on gas plants. Solar and wind, while growing fast, still represent a considerably small slice of the fuel mix in the US and only generate electricity under specific weather conditions.
6. Renewables reach grid parity. For many years, the main argument against renewable energy was that it is not cost effective. Nowadays, that line of reasoning is getting to be more increasingly obsolete. In a lot of regions, solar and wind, particularly at utility scale are reaching grid parity and often pricing out the more traditional generation sources.
7. Decline in coal power. For a lot of power organizations and politicians, the one most noticeable trend in the energy and utility industry is the steady decline or retirement of coal-fired power plants. Around 25,000 MW of coal capacity has been retired since the year 2009. Furthermore, there are formal plans already to retire about the same amount of coal capacity by the year 2022. Environmental activism has played a significant role in this and the need to push for renewable and other clean resources other than coal all over the world.
PROVIDING SAFE AND RELIABL POWER TO CUSTOMERS
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Marketing Ops (MRM) application development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management.