European utilities are getting ready to think smart


The utilities met in Vienna this year. The event is consolidated, the European Utility Week (November 3-5), but the main players in that sector have undergone a renewal. The presence of Telco, the company managing the software and cyber security systems, still increases its presence, the technologies related to the storage products and the solutions optimizing the possibilities offered by the energy efficiency become differentiated. Among stands, conferences and presentation sessions the expertise from all over the world is presented and the alliances are made.


One of the examples is French Think Smart Grids which sees in the organization of the national chain of experiences the French key to manage the smart evolution of the Utilities. The first target of the alliance is to be part of a system and relate with foreign countries, also and above all with its neighbor – England. Indeed, British Gas, present at more conferences, has been clear about its intention to promote a massive as well as rapid roll-out of gas smart meters. The French themselves experience that matter more due to the regulations imposed by the national laws rather than an evident effort of the utilities. 

What is even more surprising is the presence of Chinese players in the scope of high-level software such as cloud and management of security and big data, who so far have prevailed in the segment of components. At the same time, one could notice a clash between different attendees specializing in various aspects that does not allow to currently implementing successful smart thinking in its entirety. It always takes time to think in an interrelated manner, as some perplexed players may say. However, the actual first signal that the change is underway is precisely here: when we suspiciously look at a stranger, it means that we have actually really noticed him. If the utilities praise the smart world and then they amalgamate with those that have such expertise and is able to integrated it into their system, there is something at odds, but not for long. All in all, measures start to be taken with something really outlandish, also in the case of so frequently mentioned as smart home.

All elements are in place, but there is still lack of capacity to acquire a shared language able to make different skills flow towards one mixer able to edit an end smart city. Instead of pointing out to the failure of the current edition, we can talk that is an introduction to the next edition; as there will be one year more; because there will be more experiences and there is hope that also decisions in the regulatory area will be made by more governments and above all; for the preparedness to share own steps both in terms of the storage and the big data as a smart meter is insufficient to build a smart city.


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Agnese Cecchini
Giornalista, video maker, sviluppo format su più mezzi (se in contemporanea meglio). Si occupa di energia dal 2009, mantenendo sempre vivi i suoi interessi che navigano tra cinema, fotografia, marketing, viaggi e... buona cucina. Direttore di Canale Energia; e7, il settimanale di QE ed è il direttore editoriale del Gruppo Italia Energia dal 2014.