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An article in Public Utilities Fortnightly reports on a recent Accenture survey that shows utility executives believe smart grid capabilities will transform the industry and bring competitive opportunities.
Distribution utilities are facing unprecedented challenges on multiple fronts; indeed, there’s even a debate that goes as far as questioning the distribution utility’s very survival. More specifically, we’re seeing a four-pronged threat from increasing cost pressures and regulatory mandates; rapid growth of distributed generation, including solar, storage, and microgrids; continued pressure to improve reliability and response to extreme weather events; and evolving consumer expectations with a continued decline in consumers’ trust.
These threats taken standalone are surmountable but put together they have the potential to reshape the industry as we know it.
Our research and analysis concludes that a successful response to this challenge will include both an inward look at capabilities and operating models and an outward look to explore new products, new services, and evolved customer relationships.
Read the full article
This article was published in Public Utilities Fortnightly in January 2014. Copyright PUR Inc. (www.fortnightly.com). Used by permission of the publisher.
Insights from The Digitally Enabled GridEnergywide trends including increasing sustainability concerns, energy costs and reliability of supply are compounding local utility challenges such as aging networks, more prescriptive regulators and the growth of distributed generation including solar PV. As a result, distribution network utilities will have to adapt to deliver against their core service requirements and deliver business performance improvements.
Smart grid solutions have the potential to provide networks with a diverse, valuable set of tools that can help utilities address these challenges. Accenture's Digitally Enabled Grid program provides insights and recommendations around challenges and opportunities utilities face along the path to a smarter grid, including views from utilities executives around the world.
Learn more about The Digitally Enabled Grid
Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid program provides insights and recommendations around challenges and opportunities utilities face along the path to a smarter grid, including views from utilities executives around the world. Explore the insights now:
Forging a Path toward a Digital Grid: Global perspectives on smart grid opportunitiesAssessing the drivers for smart grid adoption and the approach to defining an optimal route toward a future digital grid
Realizing the Full Potential of Smart MeteringInvestigating the critical factors for the deployment of smart meters and the extraction of greater value through the adoption of advanced solutions
Optimizing Grid Performance through Advanced OperationsConsidering the impacts of changing energy requirements on grid operations and the role smart solutions can play in cost-effectively delivering reliable electricity supplies
Unlocking the Value of AnalyticsExamining the central role that analytics will play in extracting value from smart solutions and a detailing of the key factors utilities must address to enable this vital capability
Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid reports identify recommended actions for network utilities, to help them position their businesses to realize the full benefit from the opportunities of the digital grid. Selected recommendations include:
Review and renew operating models to support the new capabilities, processes and data provided by smart solutions
Understand the drivers and barriers that can significantly alter the smart grid investment landscape, particularly trigger points that could result in a major change to your smart grid strategy
Understand the new competitive threats and leverage these to position for growth with emerging opportunities
Address the need for new skills, tools and capabilities requirements without compromising on asset and financial performance
Leverage analytic capabilities to fully achieve the potential value of the digital grid
Secure access to skills that blend IT and OT, which will be critical to addressing the opportunity associated with analytics
Jack Azagury is the global managing director for Accenture Smart Grid Services and leads Accenture’s Digitally Enabled Grid research program.
January 17, 2014
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