Our industry is facing some big changes—such as new regulatory requirements for water, implementing 100% renewable generation and moving to a carbon-free society—while still addressing today’s challenges to deliver safe, reliable energy, water and city services at lower operating costs.
By Andrew Jones, Vice president of sales, EMEA, Itron
In the EMEA region – which is made up of Europe, Middle East and Africa – the utility sector is also impacted by what we call the “three Ds”, or rather, decarbonisation, decentralisation and digitalisation.
Decarbonisation means a growing renewable sector, leading to more sustainable renewable generation. Which is an exciting next step, however, renewables are highly intermittent – the industry challenge is to manage through those intermittent periods.
In regard to decentralisation, the reduction in the reliance of large generation plants and the dispersion of generation to smaller plants and renewables such as wind farms, solar biomass or hydro marine generation creates new challenges in how energy is distributed and how to address it.
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Furthermore, the implementation of new digital technologies to manage, monitor and operate systems in the transmission and distribution of energy and demand creates more efficient and effective data management, but also means companies are moving from hardware and products to service-based solutions.
Water management and the move to smart city technology are also two key areas of focus for EMEA. Due to increasing water scarcity, aging infrastructure and water loss/leaks, efficiently utilizing our most precious resource is more important than ever. Growing cities and urbanization also mean an emphasis on efficient, reliable and safe energy generation and ecosystems, as well as delivering more robust revenue analytics.
As we look to create a more resourceful future, it’s imperative that we factor in these areas to ensure lasting change and a positive outcome for our customers. So how do we plan to tackle these trends?
Join us during Itron Utility Week EMEA, March 16-17, 2021, as we discuss these challenges and more, bringing together industry experts, colleagues and thought leaders to learn from one another, share fresh perspectives and open the door to new solutions by empowering innovation and transforming challenge into opportunity.
Breakout sessions during the virtual event are organized into two tracks: Water Management and Smart City and Utility Solutions. Among the topics that will be covered are:
- Leveraging multi-purpose networks to enable digital communities;
- Reducing non-revenue water through leak detection;
- Quantifying the value and benefits of distributed intelligence;
- Accelerating electric vehicle adoption through grid analytics and charging management; and
- Hearing from several city and community experts about how cities are navigating the pandemic and how connected city infrastructure and services can aid recovery.
The event will be offered virtually and at no charge. It will be available in English with subtitles in French, German, Spanish and Italian. Event registration is now open for Itron customers, partners and employees of municipalities, cities and utilities at all levels.
For more information about IUW EMEA: Empowering Innovation, visit www.itron.com/iuwemea.
About the author
Vice president of sales, EMEA – Itron
Andrew Jones joined Itron in 2018 as our regional sales vice president for the Europe, Middle East and Africa market. He is a seasoned sales and management executive with over 30 years of experience at companies like ITT, Xylem, TE and now Itron. He brings a wealth of utility insight and knowledge to this role, with over 10 years of direct experience helping utilities and water municipalities better manage their resources, and in 2019, Andrew was a panelist at African Smart City Congress. Currently based in the U.K., he has held overseas assignments in China, Holland, Switzerland and Germany. Andrew graduated from the University of Sheffield and is a Fellow of the Institute of Marketing.