The study highlights geo-technology as a major contributing factor, providing filtered, location-based information from services or devices such as Snapchat or iPhone. This technology is also used in the energy and utilities industry toward creating a mobile workforce, having sensors deployed in utilities’ service territory, remotely alerting personnel to irregularities, routine maintenance checks and so forth.
Smart grid technology is also helping utilities to reduce the amount of truck rolls and restore power more quickly and effectively in the event of an outage.
Another report compiled by global energy market research firm Technavio predicts the global automation solutions market for the power industry will grow by 9% between 2016 and 2020.
Bharath Kanniappan, lead analyst at Technavio for research on grid automation, commented: “The coal-fired plants may be replaced by natural-gas power plants equipped with critical safety units and innovative automation technologies. This represents significant greenfield opportunities for the global automation solutions market in the power industry.”
For instance, the US is planning to install 41 coal-fired power plants and construct new smart energy systems which require to be operated remotely. [DERs drives up demand for substation automation tech]
Investments in grid automation
Technavio predicts that the rise in investments in smart power grids will drive the global automation solutions market for the power industry during the forecasted period.
With global utilities witnessing the benefits of smart grid solutions in managing their grid networks, China, US, India, Brazil and France are expected to lead investments in smart grid solutions.
However, the firm notes that utilities globally will increase their investments in grid automation technologies to optimise their revenue collection through the curbing of non-revenue electricity. [CPFL extends distribution automation programme]
Technavio states that power companies will expand the market by increasingly investing in their efforts to reduce transmission and distribution losses within their power networks.
It predicts that almost 10% of the power generated at the generation stage is lost via power leakages, open circuits, overloading of distribution lines, power theft and inaccurate billing.