Friday, September 6, 2013

Sept. 5 webinar: How utilities can adapt to a more collaborative power grid

For more than a century, the vast majority of electric power has been produced at huge utility-controlled power plants
Today, distributed generation -- involving many technologies (including renewables) and smaller facilities, spread across many locations and with a variety of owners and operators -- is poised to challenge the traditional centrally controlled model of the power generation business.
Utilities in countries with the fastest projected growth in distributed generation need to reinvent themselves today in order to remain competitive.
Meanwhile, customers are becoming more active participants in the power grid, through efficiency and demand response programs, dynamic pricing, and other new options supported by smart grid technology.
All of these changes add up to a more diverse and collaborative power grid. How might utilities, new players in power generation and customers work together effectively to build a more robust and collaborative grid, in ways that support everyone's interests?
This will be the topic of a Sept. 5 webinar, featuring Christian Heuer, Global Head of Smart Grid Consulting for Siemens AG Infrastructure and Cities:
This free webinar will address the current and future impact of these trends -- and how utilities can position themselves to thrive in a more diverse landscape of energy production and active customer participation.
In many countries, distributed generation is on the rise thanks to changes in consumer behavior, energy policy, regulatory requirements, and technological advances (especially sensors and energy storage).
Distributed generation flips a key paradigm of the electric power industry. In the past, it was far easier to predict power generation than consumption. Today it's getting more difficult to predict energy supply, due to increasing integration of intermittent resources.
The pace of growth of renewables varies widely by region. For instance, about 80% of Iceland's energy comes from renewables, while in Japan renewables total less than 3% of the energy supply -- although this pace is likely to pick up soon.
But as the price of installing renewable generation continues to drop, the growth in this market will accelerate everywhere. For example, just a decade ago it would have been hard to imagine that 70% of new power capacity added in Europe in a single year would be renewable -- but that is what happened in 2011.
Fortunately, it's getting much easier for utilities to predict energy consumption, thanks to the big data provided by smart grid technology as well as improved analytics.
Where can utilities look for examples of how to adapt to this industry paradigm shift? While it's not a perfect comparison, some lessons can be learned from the telecom industry's shift to wireless communications. According to a recent Edison Electric Institute report, traditional telecom players such as AT&T and Verizon were able to adapt to the changing market, get ahead of the curve, transform their business models and "lead the development of non-regulated infrastructure networks and consumer marketing skills."
This Siemens webinar will help utilities understand how to tackle these challenges.In order to navigate this constantly changing market, utilities need the right tools and partners.
We will explore how Siemens leverages two planning tools -- the Business Model Canvas (a structure to define business models) and the Smart Grid Compass (which creates a framework for smart grid implementation) -- to help utilities make sound strategic decisions that can guide your business in both the short and long term.
After the presentation, Christian Heuer will answer your questions live.