What We Cover
The Energy venue includes various forms of electric power generation and the transmission and distribution systems required to deliver energy to users. The evolving “smart grid” encompasses critical enabling technologies and applications. These include alternative generation technologies, distributed energy generation, power quality monitoring, energy storage and automated metering.
Key applications and use cases include:
- Asset monitoring (turbines, transformers, switches, etc.)
- Condition-based maintenance tools for predicting system failures before they happen, and
- Integration of multiple brands of equipment to allow participants along the power supply-chain to better utilize data to manage power supply and demand.
Harbor’s Energy Outlook
The smart energy market opportunity is created by growing electricity capacity shortages, increasing electricity costs, under investment in infrastructure, reliability issues due to constraints on generation and T&D capacity and increasing concern over energy cost and carbon emissions associated with adding additional generation capacity to fulfill the growing demand for electricity.
The market opportunity for developing and servicing smart power equipment and device networking and monitoring solutions is still quite open and fragmented. Opportunities are abound in the hardware, software, networking and services spaces. Our research indicates that 300+ million devices are presently available for networking in the power industry, representing several billion dollars of revenue opportunities for suppliers.
Electricity consumption in most developed economies is growing at roughly 3% per year and has been doing so for many years while supply capacity has been falling steadily. This environment is caused by under investment in the utility supply sector and in some cases adverse market structures and regulations. These forces have driven a steady erosion of grid capacity to such a point where many western countries are now operating dangerously close to their supply capacity limits.
The scale of the capacity expansion needed to return to previous operating levels in many countries is so great that utilities are now finally looking seriously at demand reduction as a more favorable investment than just capacity expansion. Timing to bring new generating assets through planning, funding and build is also a major factor – demand reduction or demand side management technology have none of these disadvantages and is now being seen as a useful tool not just in the short term while new assets are built, but also in the long term to augment and reduce the need for increased capacity.
The level of attention focused on smart grid investments has, for the last several years, been rising steadily. The forces at work in this market will drive significant impacts to the power supply network over the next decade. Market pressures will make demand / consumption reduction services and related smart systems much more attractive to electric utilities and customers in the future.
Energy Value Chain