There is a ‘rumour’ going around that data is the new ‘oil’ – the one commodity the world is unable to operate without.

“Not so!” says Doug Laney, the author of the book Infonomics. Laney says data is more valuable than oil, and yet, we are not treating it as a valuable asset [pg 42].

We explore the role of data in the utility sector in depth in this edition of Smart Energy International. Our exploration of data includes a look at an exciting project being undertaken by Southern Water in the UK, along with 8 partners, which will change the face of data sharing in Europe [pg 44]; and we talk to Peter Jackson, Southern Water’s chief data officer [pg 34] and the driving force behind the DataWell project.

Data, in whatever form it takes, is a central theme in this edition, as we journey from Latin America and the smart grid installations and projects being undertaken on that continent [pg 70]; to the United States, where Florida Power & Light shares its storm preparations [pg 26] and Joe Peichel, a utility expert, speaks to us about security and enterprise architecture in the utility environment [pg 22].

Our trip around the world encompasses rural utilities and how they can best improve the efficacy of energy efficiency programmes [pg 68], sees how the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence integration can improve energy management in buildings [pg 72], and ends in Australia where we give an update on the Power of Choice programme [pg 74].

Smart Energy internationally

Much has been said about the evolution of our relationship with energy sources. We have moved from a heavy reliance on fossil fuels to an energy mix comprising wind, solar, natural gas and still some fossil fuels.

Similarly, our electric system has evolved from a network of one-directional, centralised energy flows with very little real-time operational insights to an increasingly multidirectional decentralised system which now includes communication along the entirety of the value chain – from utility to grid edge.

Where this evolution will end is anyone’s guess. Business models are changing, utilities are diversifying their offerings, and nontraditional players are entering the market with offerings of their own.

So, too, is this journal evolving while retaining the best of our DNA.

As of 1st July, we are no longer Metering & Smart Energy International but more simply Smart Energy International. This update on our name reflects not a change in direction but an acknowledgement of the transformation we have undergone over the past four years.

Our editorial focus will still be on providing the best news, views and insights into the smart energy sector.

Metering will remain a cornerstone focus as a critical communication link between the distribution network, the utility and the edge of the grid, but we will also continue to explore the changing energy, water and gas landscapes with a wider lens.

We know that this part of our evolution is only another step in the journey that was started 21 years ago. We are excited about the possibilities!

As always, we welcome your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Feel free to reach out to us at editorial@smart-energy.com

Read articles from this edition here.

Read the digital magazine here.