Global Trends in Electricity Distribution Network Intelligence, 2019
The 2020s will see last-mile electricity infrastructure undergo some much-needed advancement,which will enhance the overall electricity system. It will become a smarter and a more responsive system, one in which a car could power a home or batteries could power an entire football stadium on match day. The possibilities will increase based on how consumers choose to generate and use electricity. This Frost & Sullivan growth insight showcases some of the latest Mega Trends in electricity distribution, including forecasts on passenger electric vehicles, residential and commercial rooftop solar, and residential energy storage.
From the perspective of people who manage the distribution system, known as distribution network operators, this network advancement poses numerous challenges as well as opportunities. For instance, they need network visibility, for which they utilize an intelligence solution known as Advanced Distribution Management System, which provides the necessary intelligence and controls required for efficient network management. Advanced Distribution Network Management is a system that monitors both hardware and software and is designed for distribution networks. Only a few companies possess specialist expertise to devise an Advanced Distribution Management System. Other challenges include network infrastructure issues, electricity theft – more prominent in non-OECD countries with budgetary constraints, and grid insufficiency. The tech advancements happening in the Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem help overcome these challenges.
Frost & Sullivan has outlined 4 primary building blocks : 1) sensors – where the data/information originates, 2) Big Data – analyzes a continuous stream of data, 3) edge intelligence - emphasizes edge-based data centers to process information at the edge, 4) augmented and virtual reality – used for training purposes / carrying out simulation or real-time repairs.
Over the next decade, the potential for refurbishment / replacement of existing infrastructure looks positive as the existing distribution infrastructure is aged. Most of it was installed before 2000 and is likely to fall short of meeting the requirements of a modern electricity grid. This will boost the market for distribution intelligence, which has, till date, seen minimal or no activity.
The major market participants include ABB, GE Power, Schneider Electric, Advanced Control Systems, and Oracle. Company profiles have been included along with the system architecture of some of the major companies. The study also discusses the participant ecosystem along with growth opportunities that companies can leverage while making an informed decision.