Top 5 Utility Technology Trends for 2023
The Top 5 Utility Technology Trends for 2023 comprise:
- Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Smart Grid
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
One of the utility industry trends is artificial intelligence (AI).
There are basically four spheres of activity:
- Utilizing advanced analytics and insights for decision-making.
- Improving process accuracy and efficiency – from asset inspection, maintenance, repair, or improvement to customer service.
- Making transmission and distribution resource inspections more accurate using drones identifying resources at risk of failure.
- Applying remote sensing with high spatial resolution is proving to be faster and safer than traditional manual inspections and minimizes costly power outages.
Augmented Reality (AR)
Another utility industry trend is augmented reality (AR).
Replacing the real environment with a virtual one.
Supporting performing field operations, increasing their safety, from production to supply, all along the supply chain. Generating 3D models of equipment in real-time finding solutions for problems quickly and efficiently. Facilitating on-site maintenance by equipping mobile AR devices retrieving information about various assets immediately.
Successful training and education programs: experienced workers guiding work remotely while remaining in constant communication with field operators.
The third utility industry trend is 5G. 5G is the fifth-generation mobile network, the new global wireless standard that is capable of transferring data 10 times faster than 4G with up to 1,000 times more capacity and enabling the connection of many devices simultaneously.
Centralized systems are becoming decentralized meaning that as more energy sources are connected to the network, the network becomes more complex to manage.
Moreover, 5G mobile networks have low latency. That means that there is less delay in communication from one point to another. Data moves with greater speed between multiple devices (such as smart meters and sensors) and the cloud, where it is analyzed and used to trigger certain actions.
According to Deloitte’s Utilities Industry Outlook 2022:
- 58% of executives surveyed are already implementing 5G or running pilot projects.
- 26% of respondents reported that 5G communication technologies are already incorporated into their strategy.
- 36% planned to integrate them.
The fourth utility industry trend is smart grid.
Enabling multidirectional distribution. Optimizing distribution from decentralized generating plants minimizing possible overloads and variations in electrical voltage.
Detecting malfunctions, friction, and delays along transmission lines in a timely manner due to bidirectional communication.
Increasing grid resilience in the face of extreme and frequent weather events.
Integrating clean energy resources such as solar and wind.
Supporting distributed energy resources, including electric vehicles and solar power.
Applying smart meters as key component of the smart grid:
- Recording energy consumption, for billing purposes.
- Collecting information for remote reporting.
- Allowing consumers to see and adjust how much energy they are consuming in real time, without the need to physically access the meters to get a reading.
Savings in operating costs are substantial. The information transmitted by smart meters allows managing assets more efficiently.
According to Salesforce’s Utilities Customer Technology Survey 2022:
- Digitized companies outperform those that have yet to integrate and upgrade their legacy systems. They lack flexibility and are no longer able to provide a personalized and quality service that meets the standards expected by their target audience, a prerequisite in today’s crowded and hyper-competitive market.
Today’s expectations comprise:
- Easily reporting outages and problems.
- Relying on timely support, on every channel.
- Having technical staff intervene to resolve the problem, either in the field or remotely.
- Artificial intelligence applications enhancing customer interactions, streamlining, and simplifying both transactional and communication processes, resulting in reduced costs.
- Systems for the collaborative management of multichannel document creation, storage, and distribution processes, where transactional and CRM data are enhanced and transformed into documents and communications in a full multichannel perspective.
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