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10 Utilities Sector Trends to Watch in 2024 and Beyond

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Technological advancements in the utilities sector are helping create innovative business models for established and emerging companies. Current trends such as smart appliances and automated inspections are improving the grid, reducing costs, and improving performance. They also offer opportunities to move towards low-carbon solutions.

This article discusses the top ten utilities sector trends that all companies should watch for in 2024.

Top 10 Utilities Sector Trends for 2024 and Beyond

1. Using New Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Faster digitization offers utility companies substantial data for making informed decisions. However, this information is only useful when companies analyze it properly.

Many startups use AI to find data patterns and provide valuable insights. These insights help utility operators make better decisions on matters such as:

  • Demand forecasting
  • Energy efficiency
  • Grid topology optimization
  • Customer service
  • Predictive maintenance

2. Employing Decentralized Utility Strategies

Several utility companies now use monitoring and risk-based predictive asset maintenance technologies. However, others still insist on employing reactive or scheduled asset management approaches.

This process requires a substantial workforce and a greater need to predict disruptions, resulting in more power gaps.

Conversely, utilities can use decentralized power sources and storage devices to combat this limitation. Decentralized utility solutions help them carry out mission-critical goals by balancing supply and demand for critical grid services.

3. Adding More Asset Connectivity

Using big data management practices and connected devices helps create smart utility networks. Smart grids consist of various measurement and operation devices, such as:

  • Smart appliances
  • Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • Distribution automation devices
  • Cybersecurity systems
  • Smart meters

These devices provide project managers with enhanced real-time visibility into the condition and performance of assets. This facilitates decision-making based on data to optimize service quality and monitor grid capacity.

4. Automating More Operational Processes

Utility maintenance and repair requires a substantial financial commitment to cover personnel and safety apparatus. Maintenance activities can also pose a significant threat to the safety of employees.

These solutions help operators work safely in remote settings. Additionally, operational automation mitigates incident risks and increases cost savings.

5. Employing Digital Twins

Digital twins are computer-generated representations of physical assets. They allow grid operators to do the following successfully:

  • Guarantee comprehensive control
  • Anticipate grid infrastructure challenges
  • Automate intricate processes and alerts

Digital twins also help collect data from various assets into a specific location, increasing operational efficiency. The streamlined and visually represented asset information supports the efficient application of data for functional integration.

6. Introducing Blockchain

Rising demand for utilities means more companies entering the sector. That said, there is still a huge capital investment and increasingly stringent environmental regulations to follow.

These hurdles impede the progress of emerging utility providers and make them reliant on more established utility providers. This paradigm results in many utility asset transactions.

These transactions must be traceable to prevent fraud and tampering. Blockchain technology advancements help utility companies exchange assets electronically in a highly transparent and traceable manner.

This process fosters simpler integration of local utility providers into the grid and decentralizes the supply. The improved traceability also helps confirm the low-carbon claims.

7. Completing More Accurate Utility Mapping

Utility companies need accurate asset maps to monitor daily operations and find potential areas for improvement. New advancements in GIS now allow for easy integration with asset management systems online, making asset data easily accessible.

This feature gives the utility sector an easily accessible and distributable system for recording geospatial data. Utility mapping optimizes development strategies and enhances visibility into the distribution network, increasing operational flexibility.

8. Equipping Workers with Immersive Technology

Even with automation advancements, the utility sector still requires people to perform tasks that are too complex for automation. Startups are developing solutions to offer operators safe and effective training and guidance during maintenance and repair activities.

Based on immersive technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR), entrepreneurs are developing utility-oriented that facilitate the following:

  • Worker safety
  • Collaboration between workers and managers
  • Asset inspection and preventive maintenance
  • Training
  • Workflow management

These devices include the following:

  • Smart glasses
  • Wearable cameras
  • Smart helmets
  • Health monitoring devices

9. Providing Stronger Grid Resilience

Watching for asset damage because of malicious intent or severe weather is difficult because utility infrastructures are vast. The utility sector is making strong grid solutions to address these challenges and ensure customers get utilities reliably.

These solutions help utility grid operators restore regular operations following any grid damage. Caring for plants is important for preventing fires and making the grid stronger and more damage-resistant.

Due to its increased digitization, the infrastructure is susceptible to cyber-attacks and physical threats.

10. Placing a Larger Focus on Decarbonization

The utility sector must advance its transmission capabilities throughout the grid to meet many criteria, including the following:

  • Investor demands
  • Regulators’ carbon reduction goals
  • Customer expectations

Utilities will continue improving their distribution and transmission spending plans to accommodate the growth of technology, including the following:

  • Electric vehicles
  • Solar power
  • Smart home devices

New technologies can easily add low-carbon options to existing infrastructure in renewable energy. This helps make the transition smoother.

This enables utility companies to follow decarbonization mandates while avoiding prohibitively high capital investments.

Combine These Trends with the Utility Industry’s Next Safety Solutions

Utilities sector innovations enhance the operational efficacy of distribution networks and give customers dependable, cost-effective, and secure services.

Innovative methods, devices, and connectivity tools guarantee that every asset operates at peak efficiency. Utility companies can also lower carbon emissions and switch to cleaner options by controlling demand, decarbonization technology, and blockchain records.

However, implementing these trends alone is not enough. Combine your new strategy with top risk management technology to improve supply chain and worker safety.

Consider working with us to configure a solution that meets the needs of your operation.

Contact us today to learn more.


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