A perfect storm confronts the electric system as powerful new technological tools will totally transform the grid in coming years.
Dominic Thasarathar, Autodesk strategist for construction, energy and natural resources, said, “The interaction between these trends has the potential to radically disrupt the means of intellectual production, the means of physical production, and the nature of demand for electricity infrastructure.”
Thasarathar is a featured speaker at the upcoming Empowering Customers & Cities conference in Chicago this week, speaking on “Erecting the Energy Platform.”
In a response from questions from the Energy Times, he said the electric sector like all sectors faces fast-paced change from new technology.
“Think of how the advent of PV has democratized the generation of electricity,” he said. “Technology is layering additional questions – how will the rise of electric vehicles change urban distribution infrastructure?”
Cloud computing, machine learning, new approaches to analytics to mine vast troves of data, the ubiquity of the Internet of Things, 3D printing and more all add up to a sea-change for utilities who are among the most capital intensive industries around.
“It is shrinking the number of steps to go from a design to a real-world asset,” Thasarathar said.
“Each of these digital trends has the potential to change one or more aspects of the way in which the power sector plans, funds, designs, builds and operates electricity infrastructure. But collectively, the interaction between these trends has the potential to radically disrupt the means of intellectual production, the means of physical production, and the nature of demand for electricity infrastructure.”