Wireless connectivity and standards-based software protocols provide critical enabling technology for the IoT. One of the most useful wireless protocols for smart metering to emerge in recent years is wireless M-Bus, which is widely used for metering applications across Europe.
“The future lies in the digitisation of the electric grid and the benefits that can be derived from this move” is one of the first statements Maikel van Verseveld makes. He believes that Europe will need to have sufficient flexibility and contingency built into the grid in order to avoid blackouts and escalating grid challenges. He also believes that technology must be implemented to support a business case and deal with a current challenge, avoiding a ‘technology for technology’s sake’ situation.
However, because technology is also changing the way utilities operate, van Verseveld is a firm believer that utility business models are going to need to change to adapt to this increasingly technologically driven environment.
“Business models must evolve; otherwise you will quite simply go out of business,” he states.
OMNETRIC Group brings together the unique abilities of Siemens with its products and operations technology knowledge, and Accenture which understands business processes, information technology and the digitisation of both.
By way of example van Verseveld mentions Dutch company Van der Bron (which means ‘from the source’), a distribution company which is leveraging infrastructure sharing over a certain distance to directly procure and sell electricity between consumers and producers, effectively cutting out the middleman. With no traditional utility involved in the transactions, customers are seeing a 50% decrease in tariffs..