The energy sector has been evolving rapidly in recent years thanks to new and upcoming technologies. 2018 is looking to be a milestone year for the energy industry, with the introduction of many new technology trends that are set to be revolutionary in the sector.
The rise of digital has affected many businesses over the years, and the electricity industry is no exception. With everything from artificial intelligence through to increased technological demands in the home, there are a number of technology trends set to impact the energy sector over the coming months and years.
Growing Cybercrime Threat
Cyber-attacks are increasing in every industry across the globe, and the energy sector is no different. Earlier this year the United States Department of Energy announced it was planning on setting up its own Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response to tackle the upcoming security challenges. There is also evidence that hackers have been targeting the energy and nuclear facilities for the last couple of years.
Cybersecurity concerns are one of the most pressing issues within the energy sector, and as companies introduce more complex technology systems, the risk and potential for an attack are increased. Many utilities are upgrading systems to provide a higher level of grid intelligence and better communication with customers devices, opening themselves up to more potential security threats.
The Rise in Artificial Intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has evolved rapidly in recent years and provided the energy sector with a variety of new capabilities such as machine learning, cognitive analytics, deep learning and robotics process automation. These advances in technology have led to powerful systems that can automate increasingly complex workloads and develop cognitive agents that can simulate human thinking and engagement.
AI can be used in the energy sector to streamline, automate and eliminate processes within customer interactions, taking customer experience to the next level. As well as customer service benefits, AI can also be an excellent tool for customer engagement by giving companies the ability to compute a customer’s smart metre data to develop invaluable insights into their consumption habits.
Blockchain has been on the cards for quite some time and is slowly growing in popularity across a variety of industries. While it is currently limited within the energy sector, the potential of this technology should definitely not be ruled out, in fact, it may end up being invaluable in the industry in coming years.
Blockchain offers a permanent and transparent solution that is entirely digital making it really easy to work with. Within the energy sector, blockchain could potentially be used for easily recording transactions and contacts in a transparent and searchable form. The energy sector involves a considerable amount of customer paperwork and blockchain could provide some significant operational benefits such as easily locating records, detecting fraud and clarifying bill disputes.
3D Printing and Smart Materials
In recent years there have been significant steps forward in 3D printing, particularly with print metals becoming significantly cheaper. This will likely be used widely in the energy sector for the creation and maintaining of equipment and systems.
An increased use of smart materials would also have a significant impact on the energy market, and the use of materials that can self-heal could potentially change the industry altogether.
Digital Transformation in Homes
It is no surprise that there is an increased demand for energy in homes across the world. With technology coming on in leaps and bounds in recent years, the amount of electricity being consumed today is very different from that of a few years ago. The introduction of smart technologies such as smart lightbulbs and smart metres has transformed the way consumers use their energy within their homes, and this is only set to become more complex and readily available in the coming years.
The uptake of smart energy products by consumers has been relatively minimal so far, and according to recent research, 72% of people are unlikely to introduce any form of smart home technology in the next five years. However, the individuals who already make use of smart devices have noticed a significant impact on the day to day running of their homes. Many believe the uptake has been slow as consumers are still sceptical of smart energy products, but the market is expected to accelerate rapidly once the popularity of the technology increases.
The energy sector is set for a rapid transformation for the rest of 2018 and the following years, and those within the industry should be preparing themselves or the upcoming changes and opportunities that these technology trends are sure to bring. Not embracing these new technologies will leave your business at risk of being left behind the curve. At Cyan we have experience of providing transformational technology infrastructures for growing businesses the energy sector. Talk to us today to see how we can help your business.