Why Utilities Should Invest in Networking

In an article for Utility Dive, Guidehouse Insights discusses why networking for smart grids and utility applications is a $100 billion opportunity

Today's utilities are faced with a fast-changing environment, not only in managing competitors and operational challenges, but also in managing higher expectations from customers and regulators.

In an article for Utility Dive, Richelle Elberg, associate director at Guidehouse, discussed the options utilities have for optimizing their networking needs, including a multi-purpose, holistic approach.

Elberg details notable technologies in utility networking, including RF mesh solutions, PLC, utility willingness to rely on public cellular networks, remote distributed generation, and more.

“In short, the business model for electric utilities is evolving and connectivity will be a key foundational element as digitization becomes de rigueur in the industry,” Elberg said. "Competitive pressures will mean that these connectivity capabilities are increasingly a business essential, rather than just nice to have.”

According to the article, utilities are expected to spend more than $100 billion on networking and communications equipment and services over the next decade.

“Through 2027, equipment spend is projected to grow at a 3.4% rate, to $9.3 billion," Elberg said. "Utility spend on services will expand 10% a year, to more than $2.5 billion in 2027."

Read the Utility Dive Article

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