Sydney, 24 November 2017 - Leading global IT consulting company, Indra, today announced its key IT predictions for the Australian power utility, distribution, retail and generation markets in 2018.
While many in the business community are scratching their heads and wondering exactly what may eventually result from the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, others realise that the next year presents a time for fundamental change.
Indra expects that the ongoing march of global IT innovation in the utilities market will increasingly make its presence felt in the year ahead in Australia noting a surge in deployments of virtual and augmented reality, Internet of Things (IoT), workforce mobility, blockchain and data analytics.
For the power utility distribution business, Indra sees a continuity with some of the trends that have appeared in 2017:
- Power quality issues are going to drive investments in real time data analysis for network monitoring and for control where Distributed Energy Resources (DER) penetration is high
- Acquisition of IoT-data will allow greater visibility over the network with the objective to find better ways to operate it while avoiding new investments to strengthen the network allowing greater capacity for DERs
- New ancillary services at the distribution level will be required as the penetration of DER increases and these will be enabled by IoT-data driven solutions
- Pilot projects will show the capacity of augmented reality to increase the visibility of each asset looking for ways to extend its lifetime
- Workforce mobility solutions will continue to bring value as asset management is enhanced and field operations run more efficiently
- A more extensive use of the virtual reality is going to improve training especially over the digital twins of a company’s assets. The impacts over costs in maintaining the trained workforce trained will be clear as the technology is deployed across the asset base.
For the power utility retail business, Indra predicts:
- Trials with blockchain technology for microgrids and shared energy resources (PV and batteries) in embedded networks
- A consolidation of offers and solutions meant to improve demand response participation of large commercial and domestic customers, also for participation in ancillary services at distribution level
- Energy efficiency solutions based on the analysis of data from smart metering, situational awareness and customer knowledge will allow retailers to better forecast demand
- Weather analysis at the local level will help predict short-term drops in solar PV generation and improve demand forecast and network requirements
For the power utility generation business, Indra predicts:
- A more extended integration between IT and OT data will demonstrate the benefits for asset management and asset efficiency
- Virtual reality will help generators maintain trained crews and operators but also improve operations by process simulation.
- Data analytics will step in to improve forecasting of asset behaviour
Giovanni Polizzi, Energy Solutions Manager, Indra, said, “To truly realise their business goals, Australia’s utility businesses in 2018 will need to continue their journey in seeing IT as a business enabler responsible for supporting innovation. The integration between IT and OT is the challenge to really step forward in the digitisation of the sector. Any lack of alignment between business priorities and IT investments, coupled with lack of executive support, will delay decisions and force companies to take urgent measures in the following years.”
“While tight budgets and regulatory challenges have traditionally exacerbated the drive for innovation in the utilities sector, the winning companies in 2018 will be those that can incorporate new technology while extracting value from legacy investments."
Indra Australia is a subsidiary of Indra Sistemas, Spain's leading consulting and technology multinational company. The organisation, which has subsidiaries in 45 countries, offers solutions and services for the Energy and Industry, Financial Services, Telecom & Media, Public Sector, Healthcare, Transport & Traffic, Security & Defence vertical markets. Indra has over 40,000 employees, sales in 2016 in excess of AUD 4.4 billion and clients in 140 countries.
Indra has over 25 years of experience in providing world-class IT services and solutions for the electricity, gas, oil and water energy sectors. Indra Australia has been operating since the 2007 and during this time has worked with energy clients including, Origin Energy, Caltex, Hydro Tasmania and AEMO.