Study finds EMEA deployments not making the most of smart grid technologies


By: SGN Staff


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Smart grid deployments continue to move ahead in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) but the region's electric utilities are reluctant to take full advantage of the capabilities of an intelligent network, according to an Oracle Utilities study released this week. The study, conducted by IT market research firm Vanson Bourne, is based on interviews with 50 senior utility executives in Eastern and Western Europe and the Middle East. Some key findings include:

·         Most utilities have deployed or are somewhere in the process of deploying smart meters, and 56% of them plan to complete rollouts within five years

·         More than half are concerned that their current IT systems won't be able to meet their needs

·         Almost half plan to get return on their investment from their meter deployments in five years while almost 25% don't know when that will happen

·         62% of the utilities have active customer education programs, but 18% have no such communications plan

·         Despite the coming EV debut, 47% of the region's utilities have no plans to use smart grids for EV adoption and 80% of them don't think EVs are a priority.

"It's positive to see that utilities are taking active steps towards planning and implementing their smart grid roadmap. Despite the vast range of new possibilities, the majority of utilities are not leveraging the process innovations and intelligence available to them through the smart grid infrastructure," said Bastian Fischer, VP and general manager for Oracle Utilities. "The utility industry is only at the very beginning of uncovering the disruptive evolution available today," he added.


Quick Take: Interesting to see that utilities in the EMEA share the same or similar reservations as American utilities when it comes to shaking off the idea that old business models are written in stone.


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