Power utilities are accelerating technology innovations that will immensely impact the way they deal with their customers, partners and workforces in future, leading global energy experts said.
To survive and thrive in the digital economy, they should continue to work on emerging technologies that can help create competitive advantage, generate value, overcome legal and regulatory hurdles, reduce operating costs and enable transformational business models leading to energy services providers.
In addition, market forces such as customers turning producers, rise of renewable sources of energy and industry convergence are pushing utilities to think out-of-the-box, experts said at the 2nd edition of three-day World Utility Summit 2018 being held here concurrently with ELECRAMA – the world’s largest confluence of everything electric.
Over 300 delegates were present at the inaugural session presided over by Arvind Singh, Principal Secretary (Energy) at the Maharashtra government. Also present at the summit were Shreegopal Kabra, President of Indian Electrical and Electronics Manufacturers’ Association (IEEMA); Mr Vijay Karia, Chairman of ELECRAMA 2018; Vikram Gandotra, Convenor of World Utility Summit 2018; Saifur Rahman, President of US-based IEEE Power and Energy Society; Mr Jasper Wieck, Head of the Department for Economic and Global Affairs at German Embassy in New Delhi; and Mr R. Nagaraja, Chair of World Utility Summit 2018.
With energy transfer and consumption increasingly being done through electricity, unprecedented changes are underway in its generation, transmission, distribution and consumption due to new trends of 3Ds: decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation.
Thus the current role of utilities need to evolve to be future-ready. Technology which is on display at ELECRAMA provides new tools which help utilities to embrace the change with proper implementation, said the experts. A sound and fair regulatory framework can encourage utilities to invest for change while protecting the interests of end consumers.
The conventional definition of utility will alter due to convergence of various factors. Future utilities will embrace Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence and plethora of new technologies like block chain to deliver energy are on display at eTechNxt at ELECRAMA. These developments will bring the much-needed transparency in the system, resulting in better consumer experience and lowering costs.
A combination of innovation in manufacturing of electrical gadgets, equipment, machineries and energy efficiency programmes are making most industrial manufacturers more efficient than they were a few years ago, experts said.
The coming decades will also see electric vehicles displace a growing chunk of global oil demand. ELECRAMA has a large display of e-scooters, e-rickshaws and other e-vehicles.
For the immediate future, car manufacturers have started edging towards acceptance with major players obliging towards a wider portfolio of electric cars. At the same time, energy storage dispositions in emerging markets globally are expected to increase by 40 per cent annually.