The power generation sector is one of the important industrial sectors which contribute to the increasing carbon foot print. When it comes to power generation, the trend is shifting from non-renewable sources of energy such as coal and crude oil toward more clean and renewable sources such as wind and solar power and many others that are at nascent stage, but likely to gravitate towards commercialization. Recent developments including a major utility holding company in the U.S., viz. Xcel Energy, to phase out all its power generation assets that use non-renewable sources and committment to becoming a 100% clean energy producer has raised eyebrows. Apart from aiming toward 100% clean generation, there is also an increasing focus toward the use of energy efficient technologies, such as battery storage (using non-lithium ion batteries), distributed generation, electric grid modernization and advanced nuclear reactors along with hydrogen, sunlight to fuels, smart cities, biological sequestration and advanced manufacturing technologies, being the top priority clean energy innovation areas, ushering in a new era of clean energy 2.0.
In this generation, most of the utilities are under increasing pressure for quality, reliability and security and the equivalent cost of the power that they supply to their valued customers. Real time digital simulators are an intrinsic tool for utilities in this volatile environment. Through these Digital Twins or replicas, utilities’ companies can run simulations of their equipment, and mine data and insights of these simulations. This is one of the white spaces wherein the companies can move beyond predictive maintenance and AI.
The oil and gas industry has always been volatile, but with the recent decline in oil prices and cuts in spending, companies are exploring new vistas to improve efficiencies, performance, safety and take risk mitigation measures, at the same time optimize production. In the Utilities Industry as well, dynamic fordecasting & load management, operational efficiency augmentation, increasing government initiatives for AMI accentuate demand for predictive analytics, with highly advanced data technologies focused around solutions for preventive maintenance and production-related analytics at the core.
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NextEra Energy on 3rd Jan 2019 completed its $5.75 billion acquisition of Gulf Power. NextEra paid USD 4.35 billion in cash and assumed USD 1.4 billion in debt to acquire Gulf Power, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. NextEra already owns Florida Power & Light, the state's largest utility with nearly 5 million customers. As per company officials, with an eye on the future, the deal is likely to pave the way for extending to Gulf Power's customers NextEra’s best-in-class value legacy of low bills, clean energy, high reliability and outstanding customer service.
On 17th December 2018, India Energy Storage Alliance (IESA) and European Space Agency (ESA) jointly announced that they are studying the feasibility and the commercial viability of using data from satellites for the monitoring of power grids and for supporting the development and management of microgrids and utility operations. Potential areas of opportunity identified include asset management, two‐way communication between smart meters and grid operators, prediction of consumption or generation peaks, development of Internet of Things (IoT) services, and the enhancement of virtual power plants. IESA is collaborating with ESA and European TSOs and DSOs to promote microgrids, electric vehicles, and energy storage technologies.
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