Bastian Fischer on smart grids | Oracle Utilities | Video
The New Economy interviews Bastian Fischer, Vice President of Oracle Utilities, on how good policy and customer engagement must follow the roll-out of smart gridsShow transcript
Smart grid technology is helping us build a more sustainable future; but how can we ensure smart grids fulfil their full potential? Bastian Fischer talks about the challenges that need to be overcome before smart grids are widely adopted, and sets out the three main findings of its Future of Energy report: correct technology, customer engagement, and a focus on policy.
The New Economy: What are the main challenges facing the wide spread adoption of smart grids?
Bastian Fischer: One of the main challenges is the massive increase in data volume. Up to nine hundred percent more data is generated and that needs to get analysed in order to provide the RI to utilities. The second point, our customers who lack engagement and have initial worries about security and privacy. The third point is a more pan-european alignment in energy policies in order to give the guarantee to utilities in the larger smart grid rollout.
The New Economy: Oracle utilities has produced a future of energy report which details the electricity issues and trends that will combine to make the smart grid and the low carbon economy a reality by 2015. So what are the highlights of that report?
Bastian Fischer: The oracle future of energy report focusses on three main stakeholders. First making sure the right technology, standards and nudge technologies are adopted by utilities to have fast results. The second point is to focus on customer awareness and customer adoption and the customer engagement. We have seen that in projects with the availability of a smart grid and the benefits customers can realise that recognition of customers is worth taking up. The third point is focussed on policies, and it demonstrates that nudge adjustments, in the policies, have helped in the rollout of smart grid and smart meter programs.
The New Economy: So talk us through the economics of smart grids. What are the key things that utilities should know?
Bastian Fischer: Smart grids and smart meters are focussed towards two main objectives. First, making the utility operation more efficient. Second, providing customers means of understanding their consumption and reducing ultimately their consumption. As it relates to the first point, making utility operation more efficient, the smart grid allows utility to manage the energy flow within their networks more efficiently, to increase the feed in of renewable and low carbon energy to a maximum, and thirdly to dispatch and deploy the internal resources in the network more efficiently. For customers smart meters and smart grid will give the visibility about the private consumption and will offer more choice to customers as it relates to wind and how much energy they choose to consume.
The New Economy: What do energy suppliers need to do to fully benefit from the smart grid revolution?
Bastian Fischer: Energy suppliers will receive for the first time, real time information about their customers. They will have an almost immediate and real time communication with their customers, which allows them to offer first new products, new services and have a much tighter loyality with their customers. That allows retailers not only to provide a commodity but added value services to their consumers. In order to achieve that suppliers need to understand customers patterns, customer behaviour, and the smart grid and smart meter infrastructure will provide that insight.
The New Economy: And over what time scale. Are we looking ahead decades or can energy suppliers start benefitting from the smart grids sooner?
Bastian Fischer: The rollout of smart meters and smart grid is a gradual evolution. We have seen in many projects that utilities are rolling out smart meters and smart grid technologies by a business case oriented approach. Meaning that the return on investment for utilities is best if it’s rolled out on purpose. We are talking about an timeline which expands over the next five to ten years to have the core technologies deployed. In order to have a full deployment that will take longer, but again the benefits can be achieved by a very targeted rollout first.
The New Economy: Now, for the most part, consumers still aren’t aware of smart grids. What do you think might win the argument at a customer level and what can energy suppliers do in order to better educate consumers?
Bastian Fischer: Often customers are not informed and educated about the new possibilities smart meters are offering. It is not only about consuming energy in the same way as before. It is about adopting new services and benefiting from those new services such as the integration of combined heat cycle generation, the integration of __5:09__, or the uptake of electric mobility. All of those new added value services are possible and can be managed with the availability of smart meters and smart grids.
The New Economy: So where does Oracle utilities fit into the picture? What benefits would utilities receive from using your smart grid and smart metering solutions?
Bastian Fischer: Oracle utilities is a technology provider. What’s important is a smart grid is not only about assets, it is assets plus information plus processes and Oracle utilities provides the intelligence within the infrastructure coming out of the datas provided by the infrastructure but also managing the processes in the rollout of smart meters, in the engagment with customers as well as managing their own resources in the most efficient way.
The New Economy: Bastian Fischer, Thank you very much
Bastian Fischer: You are welcome