BOSTON - Digitalization is at the heart of transforming electric utilities and how they can empower customers, according to Horst Kayser, Siemens chief strategy officer.
“The predominant trend we currently are facing is the digital transformation,” he told a Boston meeting with media and analysts.
In response to a question from The Energy Times about the role of software in the gathering energy revolution, Kayser said, “Many of the customer benefits that our customers need come from software embedded intelligence.”
The New York Times reported this weekend that GE is mounting an all-out campaign to become one of the 10 largest software companies to lead the way to a greener, more resilient and efficient power grid.
“We are number 12 today,” Kayser said. As at GE, he said, “Yes, a similar transition is taking control.”
Turning to another aspect of energy change, Mike Carlson, Siemens Digital Grid North America president, focused on the evolution of the grid in an era of dispersed assets.
“Distributed energy is the change,” he said.
Established concepts may have to be redefined. Consider microgrids and distributed generation. What are their similarities and how can they be redefined to allow for the possibility of such things as virtual microgrids? Carlson asked.
EDITOR'S NOTE: New utility business models and the digital grid will be taken up at the Empowering Customers and Cities conference in Chicago Nov 1-2. Siemens is a sponsor.