Reminders

Smart Grid / Smart Energy

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European Utilities and the Energy Democratization Conundrum

By Jean-François Segalotto

A month ago, Roberta Bigliani and I travelled to Amsterdam for our annual whirlwind European Utility Week tour. This year #EUW17 attracted over 12,000 international visitors, over 500 utilities, 56 utility delegations, 550 conference speakers and 600 exhibitors to share and discuss how the utility industry is transforming and embracing innovation all around. After three full days of meetings with utilities, digital disrupters and technology partners on and off the rich exhibition floor, here are a few key takeaways from the IDC Energy Insights' EMEA analyst team on #EUW17:


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Blockchain: What's in It for Utilities beyond the Hype

By Jean-François Segalotto – 1 Comment

The intersection of Blockchain and the energy industry looks like a great place to be today. A technology that promises to bring order and automation in a distributed world could be the perfect match for a system (the energy system) and an industry (utilities) that are slowly but relentlessly decentralizing. Almost like a marriage made in heaven.


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In the last year, Aclara has contributed to a significant consolidation in the Smart Meter business. The acquisitions of GE’s smart meter business, Tollgrade’s grid communications infrastructure business, and most recently, Smart Grid Solutions has continued a trend we are seeing in the Smart Meter market.


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This blog is co-authored with Roberta Bigliani and Jean-François Segalotto.

Last month, Roberta Bigliani, Jean-François Segalotto, Loren Drennan, Gile Downes and I traveled to Barcelona for our annual hectic European Utility Week adventure. This year, #EUW16 attracted 12,000 international visitors, 450 conference speakers and 600 exhibitors to debate the utility industry's transformation and to discuss how it is embracing digital transformation to innovate in every way. After three full days of meetings with utilities, digital disrupters and technology partners on and off the rich exhibition floor, here are a few key takeaways from the IDC Energy Insights' EMEA analyst team on #EUW16:


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The traditional utility business model is broken, the pace of decarbonization is accelerating, and distributed generation is on the rise. At the same time, technology and the overall business environment are changing at a tremendous speed, which will only hasten. The outlook for the worldwide utility industry for 2017, as well as the planning horizon for the next 24 months and beyond, is presented through the 10 predictions below. IDC Energy Insights believes these predictions to make up the framework for IT and line-of-business (LOB) decision makers and influencers' technology-related initiatives in the year ahead.


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Tesla's acquisition of Solar City can be seen as a merger between two companies that can create good synergies. Both companies are targeting environmentally friendly consumers, which are good prospects to purchase their electric vehicles, solar energy systems and backup storage. When looking at the merger from the surface, it looks like a good match for the two companies to combine their clean energy products and expand their reach to eco-friendly customers while cutting costs and increasing sales. However, when taking a deeper look at this from an economic and solar industry outlook perspective, the proposed merger loses some of its shine….pun intended.


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Takeaways from General Electric's (GE's) Minds + Machines Europe 2016 conference held mid-June in Paris, France. The event focused on the state of the Industrial Internet, which can be thought of as the Internet of Things (IoT) for industrial applications like manufacturing, power generation, and aviation.


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The new order under New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) program allows utilities to capitalize Software as a Service) SaaS expenditures, opening the door to software investment. Will this only be a New York thing, or does it have the possibility to impact the way utilities do business in the U.S?


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Apple has DERs from various energy projects meant to secure reliable and renewable power for individual buildings and campuses. But it wants more. While Apple's FERC tariff application might seem innocuous at first glance, IDC Energy Insight's research shows why utility executives might do a double take on the news; they look at technology companies like Apple as their biggest potential threats. The filing, if approved, will open the door for Apple to build DERs that are meant solely to sell energy on the wholesale energy market.



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