Electricity firms across the region press ahead with Smart Grid plans, but are not taking full advantage of the unprecedented opportunities presented by intelligent networks
London, UK. – November 3, 2010
Utilities are making progress towards the implementation of Smart Grid infrastructures, but will be unable to reap the full benefits of the technology because they are not considering the key capabilities it delivers, according to an Oracle Utilities study released today.
Additionally, utilities are concerned that their current IT systems lack the flexibility to scale to the full potential delivered by Smart Grids and Smart Meters in the long term.
The study, entitled “The EMEA Smart Grid rollout”, conducted by Vanson Bourne, set out to discover the progress utilities are making towards the roll-out of Smart Grids and Smart Meters, and whether the benefits of these intelligent networks are being realised. The study researched views and opinions of 50 senior electricity utility executives in Western and Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The study found:
The majority of utilities have already deployed, have begun or plan to begin a phased programme for the adoption of Smart Meters. 56% of utilities expect to have Smart Meters rolled out within five years
Over half of utilities are concerned that their current IT applications will not be able to scale to their needs
Nearly half of respondents (45%) expect to achieve return on investment (ROI) from Smart Meters in five years, whereas nearly a quarter don’t know when this will be achieved
18% of utilities do not have in place a communications plan to educate customers about the different aspects of Smart Meters. However, 62% of utilities are informing customers about why Smart Meters are being installed
35% of utilities already have in place new systems able to store the additional data from Smart Metering and extract intelligence from it, and 36% expect to have these installed within five years (15% in one year, 12% in three years and 9% in five years).
However, 12% have not yet begun to assess the systems they will require to extract intelligence from Smart Metering data and a further 12% have no plans to put this in place
Despite the rise in electric vehicle (EV) adoption, utilities have made little preparation for this. In fact, 47% of utilities have not planned to use Smart Grids for EV adoption and 80% of utilities do not consider EVs to be a priority for them at this time
Bastian Fischer, Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Utilities, EMEA, said: “It’s positive to see that utilities are taking active steps towards planning and implementing their Smart Grid roadmap. Despite the vast range of new possibilities, the majority of utilities are not leveraging the process innovations and intelligence available to them through the Smart Grid infrastructure. Harnessing this information has the power to maximise improvements being made to their business and their ability to enhance efficiencies such as providing new customer offerings, improving field operations and supporting renewable generation. The utility industry is only at the very beginning of uncovering the disruptive evolution available today.”
Stephan Scholl, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Oracle Utilities, said: “The Smart Grid is fundamentally revolutionising the delivery of electricity from suppliers to consumers, and will enable utilities to detect and remedy problems faster than ever before, as well as allow consumers to be active participants in this new bi-directional Energy Supply Chain. It is therefore critical that utilities plan for the future now by architecting and implementing an open and agile IT infrastructure that is able to cope with the imminent flood of data that both present and next-generation Smart Grid components are generating. Furthermore, managing the information lifecycle, according to data retention and privacy regulation, as well as implementing a true end-to-end security concept is now extended into the field domain.”