The challenges of innovation in the energy sector

Source: PrimeStone

The economic boom in the emerging markets across the globe along with the growth of cities are triggering a global-scale change in energy consumption.

PrimeStone, a global company that specializes in providing meter data collection and analysis software to the energy industry, explains the challenges and expectations for innovation in the Latin American energy sector.

The economic boom in the emerging markets across the globe along with the growth of cities are triggering a global-scale change in energy consumption. “In the short-term and medium-term, communication and information technologies will have an ever increasing impact on the models and processes of business. The deployment of intelligent networks through self-generating, renewable energy solutions in businesses and residences will conform to a system where the transmission networks and distribution will connect supply and demand in a collaborative and open-market environment,” explains Jose Gaviria,  President and CEO of PrimeStone.

Latin America, like other regions of the world, is working on implementing intelligent networks (Smart Grid), in order to efficiently use different energy resources. PrimeStone offers innovative software products that help utility companies navigate the global utility industry, which is complex, fragmented, and in need of transformation and modernization.

Among PrimeStone's key differentiating factors is the ability to customize and successfully adapt its software analytics tools to markets that are still developing and changing. This is significant because the majority of global energy markets, driven by a rapidly changing regulatory environment, are local and fragmented in nature, with substantial requirements that differ by countries, cities and regions.

As a result, there will be many challenges in the coming years, such as the development of adequate and interconnected information systems. In PrimeStone’s experience, intelligent networks should be present in the value chain from the production to the consumption of energy, water, and gas, among others. Currently, the implementation of these networks is a topic that is moving forward in the region, but is dependent on the financial resources of businesses and utilities.

Regulatory requirements in different countries are already giving the topic of intelligent networks more visibility and discussion. This is an important step towards making the development of the Smart Grid viable. Likewise, the opportunities to develop applications for intelligent networks are on the horizon and can revolutionize the sector’s technology.

Regulation of the Sector

The implementation of the so-called “smart measure” has been invaluable in the recuperation of lost energy from the distributors. The emergence of smart meters has maintained a conditional, but constant, growth to drive the open market because of these regulations, along with the implementation of plans to reduce wasted energy and the initiatives of intelligent networks to control the demand.

With so many new and alternative energy sources coming online in Latin America and as a result of changing regulatory frameworks, PrimeStone is well-positioned to leverage its existing market knowledge and presence to expand its footprint to include independent energy producers that were previously excluded in certain countries, such as Mexico. The market opportunity for PrimeStone is significantly expanded as a result of recent energy reform in Mexico that will allow industrial companies to produce their own energy and eventually become providers in the broader market.

The Development of Renewable Energy

The global tendency regarding renewable energy development like solar panels and wind energy, as well as the intelligent energy networks like digital platforms, will further create an interdependent collaborative economy. This could generate new participants in an open market for the supply and demand of energy. At the same time, this energy distribution network will allow for several exchanging opportunities and energy transactions between energy generators, with different types of clients and responding to a demand with diverse energy needs and consumption patterns.

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