Emerging providing a system where the energy consumer

Emerging driving technologiesAccording to Gartner (2017) the principal emerging technologies for the utility industry are:Blockchain, which enables Sharing Energy EconomyDER (Distributed Energy Resources), which dictate new network managementDigital business, which is accelerating industry transformationData analytics Blockchain wants to be the technology enabler of “energy revolution in which both utilities and consumers will produce and sell electricity” (Basden et Cottrell, 2017, p.2). Such technology would disrupt the logic of the grid by providing a system where the energy consumer can take advantage of the decentralized energy system that would deliver efficient, reliable renewable energy. Application of Peer-to-peer energy trading are already a reality in Brooklyn, N.Y, where neighbors sell solar energy via blockchain technology and in Germany, where the power company Innogy is actually testing blockchain technology in order to authenticate and manage the billing process for autonomous electric-vehicle charging stations. As we derive from the previous argued literature (Basden et Cottrell, 2017) and as shown by the example of the banking industry (cryptocurrencies), the application of blockchain is a typical Schumpeter “creative destruction”. The aim of blockchain to decentralize the distribution, results in giving to the users more autonomy and power. As we derive from Basden et Cottrell (2017), the application of blockchain to the utility industry increases the peer-to-peer systems and bring more flexibility to the grid.The application of the Blockchain would provide large efficiency benefits for the stakeholders involved in the generation, transmission and distribution, but has to deal with this complex network. Startups, innovator, manufacturer, non traditional entrants and Venture capitalists that are investing in the utility sectors, are disrupting the market by bringing driven technology. Utilities have the responsibility to ensure a safe and reliable network managing the DER (Distributed Energy Resources) integration while at the same time, keep pace with the new technology trends with a look on the tariff for all customers on the grid (Nieponice  2017). Stakeholders involved and utility companies modernize and update the grid expanding the offers for the customers. In fact, according to Sioshansi (2017), customers in the future will be able to access to price-attractive DERs to manage their own energy grid at home or at office. Technologies includes batteries, fuel cells, smart load controls and smart charging electric vehicles (Tesla Wall Connector is already a brilliant fully working example). These are part of DERs and improve the efficiency of the energy services. The literature provides two complementary emerging services that may come up from the actual energy grid:The grid allows to the DER owners to sell their overcapacity, making the DERs more economical; The grid allows to the customer to switch effortless to the cheapest available power, by purchasing electricity from nearby DER systems and exporting them through the local distribution grid The number and quality of sensors present in the power grid increases the usability of the user. Clear examples are IoT devices (Internet of Things), which have consolidated the leader position opening a new market segment in the last years, and as argued by Wood & Emphill (2016), they gave more control to the user of their power grid, and making it more digital and distributed. Pacific Gas and Electric calls this phenomena “The grid of things”.Sensor implies data, and data in the contest of the future utility industry, have lot of implications. All the different devices that we possess at home and at office constantly generate and absorb huge flows of information. Smart-home assistants, light sensor, smart thermostats, track the energy usage pattern of the consumers (PWC 2014). At the same time, IoT devices provide an effective way for the users to keep track of their consumption thanks to the analysis of data made by providers (PWC 2017). Obviously, on the other side, companies which track the energy usage patterns can provide him smart solutions which may reduce and optimize the energy usage . Additionally they make problems diagnoses quicker and transform a passive user into an active user. As a matter of fact, as shown by Wood et Emphill (2016), the constant monitoring of the user data by the providers generally increases the the individualized customer services offered. We derive that emerging technologies are making the customers more aware of the different alternatives. They track their energy usage patterns in real time and are inclined to accept proposals to improve their system efficiency.


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