New research from smart grid systems provider Tantalus reminds us how important it is to demonstrate the value of smart grid investments.
The company surveyed more than 50 utility customer representatives during the latest annual Tantalus User Conference this past October, and 37 percent said their number one issue was showing return on investment (ROI) and value from smart grid investments in 2015.
Ranking second, 17 percent cited addressing the “impacts of aging infrastructure.”
Other key takeaways from Tantalus’s 2015 User Conference Survey report include:
- For the second year, Add-on Applications was the top utility investment priority for 2015, which is further evidence to support the trend of demonstrating ROI. Implementing security enhancements doubled as an area of investment for 2015.
- Load control again leads as the most popular application that utilities will implement this year.
- For the first time, Data Analytics ties as the number one utility application to implement in 2015. This finding supports indications that utilities are becoming increasingly more IT and information-driven as the quality, quantity, and accessibility of real-time energy data becomes more prevalent through AMI technologies.
Other high priority areas of investment included demand management and distributed automation.
Survey results also showed the growing importance of, and demand for, IT and technical staff among utilities. Sixty percent of new hires planned by utilities will be technical or IT-related.
Commenting on this year’s survey results, Tantalus President and CEO Peter Londa said the company believes that the value of real-time data lies in actionable results from data delivery. By distributing computing capability at the edge of the network, Londa said utility companies can “integrate value driven applications that strengthen the connected grid and improve operating efficiency and reliability.”