The Consumer's Disruptive Role in Utility Industry!
Energy Technology is now accessible to mass consumers. Consumers have become more active in managing energy efficiency and renewable energy generation. Their connectivity to Utility network has changed traditional consumers to become suppliers. This source of supply creates intermittent uncontrolled reverse energy flow and is outside the control of Utility in majority of cases. Let us understand the reasons and impact to the existing Operational & Information Technology due this change and see whether we are ready to adopt it.
Why consumers do?
- Worried about climate change
- Cornered about energy price
- Take control on energy availability/ continuity
What consumers do?
- Implement renewable energy generation
- Run our own efficiency program
- Connect to Utility Network
What it means to Utilities?
- Consumption Node in the network is now a source of power!
- Supply will be intermittent!
What major impact it will have on Operational & Information Technology?
- Existing OT systems are not flexible and scalable for reverse energy flows
- Consumer control or delegated control to Utility - additional OT requirements
- Real time models with instantaneous dispatchable energy
- Need for Intelligent Grid creation with communication infrastructure
- Self healing distributed control systems in place of central monitoring
- Customer as Supplier means a huge process change to IT systems
- Metering & Meter data management for two way flow
- Pricing/ revenue business process change management
- Carbon credit trading for large customers
Now the question is....
Distributed renewable energy source maybe a challenge to manage operationally today. But, do we envisage this will force advancement for our grid to be smart and energy efficient? Looking forward to hear from you.