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Microsoft Industry Blogs - United Kingdom

The UK’s energy sector is undergoing drastic change. But it’s not just development in areas like demand management and response, smart metering, behind-the-meter energy management systems, and social media that’s fueling it. The single biggest change the sector is undergoing is disruption to the industry’s traditional flow structure. Traditionally, large energy-producing plants generate consumers’ electricity and power. But this is fast becoming replaced. Now, we’re seeing many decentralized, renewable energy sources supply consumers. This is changing the way energy organisations engage with their customers, as many people can now generate their own energy and sell it back to the grid.

So, how can the utility sector meet this fundamental change? Well, primarily through the use of smart grid solutions. The ratio of renewable and distributed energy to conventional forms of energy is increasing. And this changing landscape will make smart grid-based solutions more and more important. Through these smart grids, we can engage consumers in both the new provision of energy through on-premises generation, and energy efficiency initiatives.

Smart grid projects create the vital bridge in the utilities sector. They connect the industrial Internet of Things (IoT), like advanced metering infrastructure, with consumer IoT devices, like smart appliances and home energy management. Plus, the increasing number of smart meters in households and organisations will speed up the deployment of smart grid solutions.

The smart grid plays another important role. We can use it to improve grid reliability, resilience and recoverability. For instance, a key use case of smart grids is the ability to monitor and automatically respond to local power demand in real time. We can use smart grids to detect and automatically resolve power outages (for example in storm damage) and provide alternative connections.

At Microsoft, we know that smart grids are a key game changer for the energy industry. And to help our customers in the energy industry, we’ve developed specific smart grid solutions. These encompass both data analytics and energy management, to inform your future capacity needs, your outage analytics, and your predictive maintenance.

If you would like to know more, please contact Ruptesh Pattanayak by email on Ruptesh.Pattanayak@microsoft.com

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