Energy and utilities industry is going through a period of major changes primarily driven by increasing demand for sustainability and technological innovations in the global energy market. Broadly, energy utilities encompasses companies involved in generation, distribution and sale of electricity in a regulated market. Electricity utilities market is generally regulated by local and national power governing bodies, however, the sector is undergoing deregulation in many countries leading to change in overall dynamics of the energy and utilities industry. Majority of the electricity utilities companies use energy produced from hydropower and thermal energy. However, growing demand for energy and utilities industry to “go green” has prompted the companies to gradually shift towards renewable energy sources such as solar power.
There is an increasing demand from energy and utilities companies to transition from legacy grids to smart grids, infusing overall efficiency to the power generation and distribution of electricity to end customers. Smart grid technologies are changing the way utilities companies operate and the industry is implementing intelligent measurement or smart metering, big data infrastructure, data and information management and cloud computing infrastructure to build smart grids.
Economic uncertainties, cost reduction, reliable energy sources, growing consumer demands and increasing price competition are some of the challenges faced by power and utilities companies. After deregulation of energy and utilities sector options for consumers have increased, so retaining them has become top priority for utilities companies. To gain customer loyalty and keep them engaged and satisfied, utilities companies are implementing new technologies and are evolving their smart grids processes.
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