Engerati’s Week in Smart Energy: Catapulting new services

Engerati Week in Smart Energy
Can the Energy Systems Catapult help firms and individuals convert new product and services ideas into commercial initiatives?

A big challenge for individuals and companies with what they think are good ideas for products or services is how to test and develop these and take them through to commercialisation, writes Jonathan Spencer Jones, contributing editor of Engerati.

To fill this “valley of death” in the UK, the Energy Systems Catapult has been formed – the latest in a series of Catapults that are aimed to support high-tech innovation to drive growth and exports.

In an exclusive interview we asked Nick Winser, chairman of the Energy Systems Catapult, about the need for the Catapult and its activities and areas of focus. [Energy Systems To Get Catapulted]

Mr Winser said that the newly formed Energy Systems Catapult will support the development of novel energy products and services from idea through to commercialization in UK.

The Energy Systems Catapult joins the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult to cover the energy sector.

Smart grid market in Europe

A smart and cost-effective energy market in Europe will be based on large contributions of variable electricity from solar and wind energy and a high degree of flexibility to make optimal use of the energy when it is cheaply available, suggests Dr James Watson, CEO of SolarPower Europe.

Speaking to Engerati ahead of the upcoming EMART Energy, Dr Watson said utilities should be at the helm of changes in the market and he pointed to Germany’s Energiewende as a model that can be followed to drive decarbonization of energy systems.[Europe’s Energy Market: The Need To Overcome Inflexibility and Diluted Market Price Signals]

Impact of technology

An issue that has been preoccupying the energy sector is the ageing workforce and the potential impacts of retirements on the knowledge and skills bases.

In a guest editorial Bit Stew Systems’ Mike Varney argues that at least part of the challenge can be met with ‘Software Defined Operations’.[Train Technology (in Addition to People) to Realize the Smart Utility of the Future]

With Software Defined Operations, which can be used to build experience and knowledge into IT and OT systems, at the edge of the grid, next generation staffers should have an effective level of intelligence normally held only by long serving employees.

Consumer billing and customer service

New UK energy provider Our Power Energy Supply, a membership organisation of social landlords, local authorities and community controlled organisations operating on a non-profit basis, has opted for a cloud-based billing and customer care solution.

Find out more about this initiative, which is also the topic of an Engerati webinar. [Enabling The UK Energy Revolution With Software As A Service]

Topics of other current Engerati briefings include cybersecurity for critical infrastructure and how to move using smart grid sensors and analytics from a reactive to  a predictive grid. [Cybersecurity For The Critical Infrastructure Sector and Transitioning From A Reactive To A Predictive Grid]