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[November 09, 2013]
United States : Smart Grid Benefits Set To Exceed Industry Forecasts as Utilities Face Mounting Challenges from New Entrants, Accenture Survey Finds [TendersInfo (India)]
(TendersInfo (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) More than two-thirds of utilities executives believe that the benefits of smart grids and smart meter deployments which include improved customer service, reliability and outage response will exceed original industry forecasts, according to a new global survey by Accenture. A large majority of executives surveyed (85 percent) also expect the industry s competitive landscape to change in the next five years, with more new entrants in the areas of energy efficiency and demand response, data services and distributed power generation.
The Digitally Enabled Grid survey of 54 global utilities executives in 13 countries found that for 98 percent of the utilities represented, the smart grid is a natural extension of the ongoing upgrades to the electricity network, confirming that smart grid technology has become a core part of their investment strategy.
To ensure the delivery of safe, reliable and affordable energy to consumers, utilities will need to make significant investments in grid infrastructure and technology, in order to accommodate new sources of supply and demand, such as electric vehicles, distributed solar power, microgrids and energy storage, said Jack Azagury, global managing director of Accenture Smart Grid Services. Our research confirms that executives expect smart grid solutions to reduce the cost of grid maintenance and upgrades and improve the reliability of the grid, while allowing it to support new technologies.
Nearly two-thirds (60 percent) of the executives said that, for their company, analytics solutions will be the highest priority smart grid investment in the coming years. Among North American executives surveyed, however, that number is even higher at 75 percent.
Further analysis by Accenture indicates that for a representative North American utility, an investment in smart grid analytics can result, conservatively, in an estimated $40 to $70 in savings per electric meter per year. The analysis shows that asset management analytics provide the greatest value, followed by grid operations analytics, revenue protection analytics and outage analytics. According to Accenture s survey, utility executives share a similar point of view: 96 percent of global respondents rank grid operations analytics and 92 percent rank asset management analytics as the two types of investments that will create the most value from smart grid analytic solutions.
Unlocking the full benefit of smart grids requires an enterprise-wide view of systems and data through the integration of traditional IT solutions with the operational technologies required to manage the grid. The convergence of information technology and operations technology is critical to managing an increasingly complex and data-driven utility.
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