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Category: Power & Clean Energy

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Competitive Intelligence Assessment: How Infiniti Helped a Prominent Smart Grid Technology Provider Stay Ahead of the Competitors

It is estimated that the smart grid technology space is expected to reach $830.56 billion by 2025.

The past few years have witnessed a stipulated growth in the demand for economical, sustainable, and reliable electricity. So, organizations are emphasizing on the need to implement robust operational measures such as smart grid technologies to efficiently control the production, distribution, and conditioning of electricity. The growth of the smart grid technology can be attributed to the emergence of cloud platforms, increasing adoption of IoT, and the need to conserve energy. Although the smart grid technology space is witnessing a promising growth owing to the increasing adoption of smart meters, regional government initiatives, and growing number of advanced infrastructure projects, several factors may influence the growth of the sector.

  • Barriers in the adoption of technology: With the rising investments in transmission optimization and distribution automation, organizations are facing the need to comply with the clean power plan to further increase the emphasis on renewable resources.
  • High costs of installation: Growing concerns pertaining to offering reliable and scalable services is compelling organizations to shift toward smart grid technology. With smart grid becoming increasingly multidimensional, deploying hardware and software components involves comparatively higher costs as compared to the traditional counterparts.

To address these challenges and assess the prominent competitors in the market, leading businesses are leveraging the use of competitive intelligence assessments. An effective competitive intelligence solution helps organizations to gather, analyze, and manage market information to make strategic informed business decision. Moreover, organizations can profile the prominent competitors and enhance their competitiveness in the market.IR_Brochure

The Business Challenge

  • The Client: Smart grid technology provider

The client, a prominent smart grid technology provider, wanted to identify the competitors and understand their strengths and weaknesses to develop effective business strategies. The client wanted to compile information of the competitors in terms of their history, key facts, products and services, and business objectives. With the help of a competitive intelligence solution, the client wanted to collect and compile data on the products and services and pricing models, and identify unique selling propositions. The primary concern of the client was to optimize their business process and strategies by comparing with that of the competitors.

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Our Journey

To gain detailed insights into the competitors’ value proposition, the competitive intelligence experts at Infiniti carried out an extensive research methodology comprising interviews and discussions with prominent stakeholders in the smart grid technology space. Moreover, to assess the performance of the competitors, the experts also compiled information from reliable sources such as trade shows, industry forums, and company presentations in the smart grid technology space.

The Solution Benefit and the Business Impact

The competitive intelligence solution offered by Infiniti helped the smart grid technology provider identify the top competitors and constantly monitor their activities. The engagement also helped the smart grid technology provider to analyze the key performance indicators and effectively analyze their marketing resources to meet the business requirements. Moreover, the competitive intelligence solution also sought ways for the client to formulate effective strategies to stay ahead of the competition. The solution also helped the client direct their development and marketing efforts to launch new products and services effectively.

The Future

The future of smart grid technologies will be marked by innovations, especially in terms of virtual power plants such as smart meters, solar panels, and demand response systems. Moreover, the smart grid technology space will also witness an upgrade in terms of transmission grids with communications and controls that can deliver 10% more efficiency as compared to the existing generation capacity.

A must-read case study for strategy specialists and decision makers looking to develop an understanding of the smart grid technology space


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What’s Changing the Face of the Global Energy Sector?

For market analysts, nothing is as fascinating as well as awe-inspiring as the changes which the energy sector has recently undergone. Right from the emergence of some unique sources of energy, this is one sector which is continuously witnessing technological innovation backed by huge demand from the emerging markets. Whether it is the growing demand which is fueling innovation or the other way around, is something which has long been discussed and debated. Not adding to this conundrum, the focus of this piece is more on understanding the factors which are playing as disruptors and innovators in the energy sector.

Major Game Changers in the Energy Sector

1) Environment: Being one of the major contributors to pollution and GHG emissions, it is only natural for the environment to play a disruptive role in the energy sector. With clean energy being the phrase of the decade, there has been major pressure to come up with technology-driven energy solutions. This is the reason, despite high dependence on fossil fuels, the market for renewable energy has also grown immensely. In fact, keeping the growing demand of energy in mind, countries like China and India have invested enormously in green energy sources.

2) Technology: When it comes to technology, the emergence of electric vehicles (EVs) has had a euphoric effect on the automotive as well as the energy sector. If industry analysts are to be believed, by mid-2020 the popularity of EVs will grow manifold, and it will also gain a competitive edge over the conventional vehicles. This development is sure to bring down the demand for liquid fuel substantially.

3) Entry of minor players: Lastly, contrary to popular perception, it is not the major players but the minor ones who are going to give an edge to the energy sector. With new avenues of capital sourcing, the small players are leaving no stone unturned in rolling out region-specific energy solutions. While this trend has disrupted the monopoly of large players in the industry, it has also opened new doors for innovation and changes in the energy sector.

These emerging conditions will have a great impact on the future of the global energy sector. Explore sustainable growth opportunities in this ever-evolving domain with actionable market intelligence solutions from Infiniti Research.

For an in-depth understanding on the game changers in the energy sector…

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Emerging Technologies Generate Interest in the Power Industry

There are several emerging technologies in the Power industry that have the potential to improve energy efficiency, provide alternative power sources, and gain valuable customer insight. Although the majority of these technologies are in their infancy, their future potential is promising.

The Power industry has found itself in the midst of a number of exciting emerging technological innovations that present some exciting opportunities for power companies. Advanced energy management systems, including smart meters and combined control systems, are enabling power companies to effectively target customers and improve energy efficiency. Floating wind turbines and distributed power generation systems are creating potential for renewable energy generation in places where it was once impossible to do so, while printable organic solar cells may unlock creative solutions for solar power generation. Power companies must be aware of these emerging technologies and the potential opportunities that they present.

Advanced Energy Management Systems Improve Efficiency and Customer Service

An emerging technological innovation in the Power industry involves the development of advanced energy management systems. New technology is being developed in order to integrate artificial intelligence into energy management systems to create more adaptive and predictive systems. These systems have the capacity to learn from past activities and then take corrective action based on predictive analytics. Learning from real-time feedback allows these energy management systems to adjust algorithms based on incoming, real-time data. These systems can be used in advanced lighting controls, smart meters, and combined control systems.

Smart meters can also provide power companies with value beyond energy efficiency. These smart meters enable companies to gain a better understanding of the behaviors and usage patterns of their customers, by collecting extensive customer data. As this data is analyzed and its results are implemented, companies can gain valuable insights to better target customers. More targeted communications, coupled with increasingly economical and efficient services, can lead to increased customer satisfaction and engagement.

Floating Wind Turbines Generate Offshore Opportunities

Floating wind turbines are emerging as the next key innovation for offshore wind power generation. These floating turbines are based on oil and gas offshore platform technology, and do not require the prohibitive concrete base that their near shore counterparts demand. Instead of a concrete base, offshore wind turbines require only to be anchored by a few cables, reaching depths of up to 700m. In deep waters, wind is generally stronger and more constant, which is another factor that can increase the efficacy of wind turbine power generation.

Japan is becoming increasingly interested in the potential of offshore wind turbines, as a source of alternative energy in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima disaster. Japan also lacks sufficient shallow costal waters necessary for the development of traditional wind farms, which makes offshore wind turbines an increasingly attractive option. Offshore wind turbines are also gaining momentum in the UK. In Europe, there has been a focus on renewable energy consumption, and floating wind turbines could help some countries further increase their output of renewables.

Printable Organic Solar Cells are Making Solar Power Flexible

One of the more unique emerging technologies in the Power industry is printable and flexible solar cells. These solar cells could potentially revolutionize photovoltaic solar power generation, and have many unique potential applications. Printing semi-conductive inks directly onto flexible plastic or steel, which can be laminated onto walls or other surfaces, results in extremely lightweight organic solar cells. These solar cells can also be built directly into construction materials, and have been found to perform better in low light conditions than other solar cells. The low cost of this technology, coupled with other complimentary technologies currently in development that will improve the output of printable organic solar cells, is generating a promising future for these solar cells.

Distributed Generation is Becoming Viable

Another major emerging technology in the Power industry is distributed generation. Although most customers will remain dependent on the existing grind for the foreseeable future, the use of distributed generation is rising. Advancements in distributed generation technologies are making onsite energy production more cost effective and viable. Until recently, distributed generation systems were not widely used owing to their high capital costs and prohibitive energy consumption, relative to their output. However, it is now possible to build smaller, less expensive and more efficient distributed generation systems that are capable of significant output, and as a result these systems are becoming more prevalent. In addition, the decreasing cost of solar panels, coupled with the growing number of solar-leasing companies, is providing customers in the Power Industry the opportunity to economically install solar panels, among other distributed generation systems.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells can Improve Efficiency

Another interesting emerging technology in the Power industry is the solid oxide fuel cell. This fuel cell transports O-2 from the cathode to the anode, differing from the more popular hydrogen fuel cell, which transports H+ from the anode to the cathode. Previously this reaction occurred at a temperature that was too high for commercial use. However, recent innovations have reduced the reaction temperature. By reducing the reaction temperature to a more useable range, these fuel cells now have many applications in industrial processing plants. These fuel cells, powered by a variety of hydrocarbons, can improve both electrical efficiency and overall operational efficiency, without any carbon monoxide emissions. The absence of flames and moving parts has also reduced the expected maintenance costs of the cells.

Impact of Emerging Technologies

These emerging technologies are changing the dynamics and capacity of the Power industry, and power companies must adapt to ensure they make the most of these new technologies. Smart meter data can help companies improve customer service and product offerings in the face of increased competition, while cheaper solar panels can enable new companies to challenge existing utility providers. Offshore wind turbines can generate opportunities for countries lacking the capacity for near or on-shore wind power generation, and provide alternatives to more high-risk energy production. Inexpensive and flexible solar cells are expanding the horizons for solar power generation, and solid oxide fuel cells can improve the efficiency of industrial processing plants. It is important to note that while many of these technologies are currently still in their early stages, they do represent great potential for the future.

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