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2020 Trends in Utilities - How utilities organizations can be 1 step ahead of the upcoming technology

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Digital transformation is the buzz word that we often hear these days. The Utilities industry is slowly but surely catching up.

Technological advancements such as AI, Cloud Computing, Autonomous Data Warehouses, Big Data, Mobile Applications and Internet of Things, IoT, have already proven to be the be-all and end-all for companies across all industries to adopt sooner, rather than later.

How utilities organizations can be 1 step ahead of the upcoming technology?

Let me jump right in to share with you 3 important trends I see from the utilities industry.

1. Digital Twins, a step up from AI

Think of it as a robotic replica of yourself only that this twin exists in the digital world. This digital replica can simulate itself by integrating IoT, AI, and analytics and continuously updates and upgrades itself in the changing environment.

That being said, utilities assets such as power plants can be digitally duplicated to improve operational and maintenance efficiencies. Different simulations can be tested by the utilities companies to maximize all the insights from the simulated data, to enhance the assets' values. This is a step up from the current AI models, where only the available data is used for preventive maintenance.

2. Grid Cybersecurity

With utilities undergoing digital transformation to be a Smart Grid, there is an unavoidable risk of cyber-attacks. A well-orchestrated attack on any utilities assets, power plants, cable lines, pipes, can disrupt the entire power of city or even a country. If these loopholes are not guarded, and the attacks falls in the wrong pair of hands, we can only imagine what catastrophe it will result in. A strong and robust solution will be required to manage this.   

3. Ascending the transition with Electric Vehicles (EV)

For electric utilities, the surge (pun intended) in electric vehicles across the globe can be both a boon and a bane. The global number EVs has increased exponentially over the past few years. This number is set to rise further.

Why is this a problem?

When there are many EV charging stations across the country, and many other domestic charging points, there will be a spike in the grid. Utilities which are not prepared for these sudden electricity peaks will have problems balancing the grid. A rigorous Data Analytics solution like Oracle Utilities Analytics will provide more valuable insights on the utilities’ customer behavior, to better manage the grid. As an example, utilities can advise customers on when and where to charge their EVs that will cost lesser for the consumers and inadvertently save the grid’s overall health including peak load.

Conclusion

The early adopters of technologies will always have an upper hand when it comes to managing expectations and changing trends from people and the surrounding environment. Although some regulations will take time to formulate, keeping abreast with the technological advancements and being well informed on industry proven solutions will keep utilities thriving.  

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If you want to have a thorough discussion on any of the above or any topics related to Utilities, do not hesitate to reach out to me !

Contact : +65 6436 2282 | hamzah.diab@oracle.com

*Disclaimer: Views expressed are my own and do not necessarily reflect those of Oracle*

Hamzah Diab's picture

Thank Hamzah for the Post!

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Oracle Utilities
We're proud to partner with the world's hardest-working electric, water and natural gas companies to empower, enhance and enable your every day. From cloud-native products to support for every step of your customer's journey, we have your answer.

Discussions

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jan 28, 2020 2:27 pm GMT

Love seeing the reframing of the situation from 'how can utilities catch up,' which it had to be after years and years of stagnation, to 'how can utilities get ahead.' They truly do need to be (and are wholly capable of being) leaders in the coming decades, and so much is riding on success in doing so!

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Feb 3, 2020 4:12 pm GMT

Matt, utilities never had to catch up with anyone - they're monopolies - and for any investor-owned corporation, the priority is always "How can we get ahead?"

"They truly do need to be (and are wholly capable of being) leaders in the coming decades, and so much is riding on success in doing so."

Leaders at what, stopping climate change? You're talking about people who don't believe it exists.

John Gage's picture
John Gage on Jan 30, 2020 11:45 pm GMT

One thing utilities can do is use shadow carbon pricing to anticipate national policy changes that will render new fossil fuel infrastructure obsolete before its expected life expectancy.

They can also endorse bipartisan market-based climate change mitigation bills such as the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (http://energyinnovationact.org). 

​​​​Oracle can endorse these policies as well, and since failure to address climate change was ranked first in terms of impact and second in terms of likelihood on the global economy in the next decade in the World Economic Forum's 2020 Risks Report, shareholders would certainly appreciate that help in addressing the risk. 

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