Thursday, December 8, 2011

Energy Sector Data Analytics

As we mentioned in our previous analysis, one of the key benefits of the Smart Grid, beyond its 2-way communication ability, is the vast amounts of data about usage it will provide. The problem is, what do we do with all that information? If we think about, in the near future, every electric outlet or piece of equipment connected to an electric outlet within a house will be able to communicate back to the utility how much energy it uses, and how and when it uses it. If we multiply this by the number of times a measurement can be made (and the more often this is done, the better), then by the number of houses in a city or a region and then we merge this data with all the data coming from other cities and regions, we will have an enormous quantity of data, that not only needs to be transported and stored, but also, and more importantly, analyzed.
According to Pike Research, the yearly worldwide spending on data analytics for the Smart Grid will reach $4.2B by 2015:

Although these are big numbers, there won’t be space for everybody. Big players like SAS and IBM will tend to buy smaller companies to complement their offering, while smaller players will either devote their efforts to focus in niche applications, or will join forces to create a new player. Whatever the outcome, one thing is clear: data analytics will be one of the pillars for the Smart Grid.

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