Utility Industry Landscape Evolving Under Asset Management
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Utility Industry Landscape Evolving Under Asset Management

By CIOReview | Friday, February 28, 2014

FREMONT, CA: The landscape of utility industry is evolving everyday and is reaching the cusp of transformation to an extremely modernized industry. It is experimenting, adopting as well as adapting to newer models, demands, challenges and risks.

Everything in the Utility industry from generation to delivery to technology is changing dynamically. Implementation of energy efficiency policies and regulations by utility enterprises was a trend that caught up last year and still continues to be so in 2014 with many countries world-wide jumping on the bandwagon. The age old system of transmission and distribution will now be replaced with more people going for independent solar power sources or renewable or nuclear power. Several options are now open to companies via mergers and acquisitions resulting in a combined and efficient work force and services.

The principle of ‘survival of the fittest’ goes in here too. To be fit in the industry and meet every arising challenge, it is necessary to be equipped with all the necessary accessories, up-to-date technologies and a broad mindset. “I think the industry is strong. If there’s a very strong business case, the utilities I work with are more than willing to make the investments. There’s certainly always a prioritization around that but, if you have the strong analytics and you can prove to the regulators that in fact this is good for their consumers, more often than not you will get the nod. At times there are frustrations around the cycle, in terms of how long it takes necessarily to do that, but the markets are ripe and utilities are willing to make those investments," says Richard Mora, President and CEO, Landis+Gyr, makers of smart meter and smart grid solutions for utilities. The industry has thus prepared itself by investing heavily in the asset management and analytics.

Check Out: Top Asset Management Solution Companies 

Asset management is nothing but making most out of something. It involves two primary activities- managing individual assets and prioritizing the projects for today and tomorrow. It has become an indispensable part of enterprise as it provides cost efficiency and better quality of services. Hence, it is all about taking the right decision about the right kind of maintenance and right kind of investment depending on the policy and budget of the company.

General Electric in partnership with Meridium, the designers of an asset analytics software suite, also known as Asset Performance Management intends to integrate it into their Smallworld GIS software suite for electric and gas networks. This will help in improving its facility to spot early equipment breakdowns and to rectify operating conditions that are the basis of long-term problems. While Swiss Grid firm ABB’s Ventyx software arm, has entered asset analytics via its Asset Health Center project with U.S. utility AEP, French grid giant Alstom is working on distribution grid asset analytics via UISOL software subsidiary. These are just few instances while many similar partnerships are still being formed in the industry.

Bryan Friehauf, Executive Product Line Leader for GE’s Asset Management business notes that asset analytic platform alerts not only about impending breakdown but in a much faster way. It helps in shifting from a reactive state into a proactive one. It is about evaluating the assets and constantly monitoring and mitigating every possible and associated risk.

Earlier the problem was that the utility industry lacked instrumentation and proper machinery. But today the scene has given way to smart devices which can almost think for itself and collect data from smart meters, demand response systems and other smart devices.

The most wanted change here is in the form of overwhelming data and smart technology and now it is up to the enterprises to make sure that the opportunity does not slip through to mine profit.

Check This Out: Top Transmission and Distribution Service Provider