Theme

UTILITY NEXT - Planning the Future

The theme of the World Utility Summit, WUS 2020 is "Utility Next". The electricity ecosystem is undergoing an unprecedented transformation with the proliferation of renewables, distributed generation resources and electric vehicles on one side and consumer activism and regulatory pressures on the other. Developing countries are also facing these challenges in addition to their ongoing struggle to provide universal 24x7 power supply. Moreover, as many of the consumers of electricity become prosumers, the electricity ecosystem would change radically and new market entrants would emerge. There is an immediate need for utilities to evaluate how the provision and consumption of energy services would happen in future.

This summit would bring in thought leaders across the globe to deliberate the preparedness of utilities to deal with the transformational changes. Regulators, technology providers, consultants, government bodies and utility leaders are expected to share their views on various challenging and exciting scenarios and this will help to shape the roadmap of future utilities.

SUMMIT TRACKS

MARKET ENABLERS

With the emergence of distributed generation resources and the availability of multiple electricity providers in today's era, consumers have a variety of options to meet their changing energy demands. At the same time, the future of the electricity ecosystem will include higher penetration of next-generation technologies like renewables, energy storage, electric vehicles and digitization. The role of utilities needs to be repurposed to prepare for the future. What will be the customer portfolio of utilities look like? What will be future expectations of the consumers from the utility and how will the utilities need to transform themselves to meet them? How will the Utility markets evolve? These are some intriguing questions that will be addressed in this track.

REVENUE SECURITY

Utilities get their revenues primarily via billing the customers for their demand and energy usage. New ecosystem, with multiple options for consumers to meet their electricity demand, will pose stiff competition to the utilities. How can the investments made by the utilities be safeguarded? How can utilities ensure they are resilient to the transformational changes in the electricity ecosystem? What are the key learnings from similar experiences? This track will cover the latest developments on the upkeep of the financial health of the utilities, learning across the globe and develop a strategy for a resilient utility.

GRID TRANSFORMATION - RENEWABLES AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES

Renewables and electric vehicles are being promoted across the globe for a variety of reasons. These technologies will transform the power grids in an unprecedented way. Renewables introduce high intermittency in generation capacity. High intermittency leads to underutilized transmission infrastructure, increased impact on grid operations and increase the need for flexible generation sources. Increasing penetration of electric vehicles will require major up-gradation of infrastructure (generation and distribution) and new business models. New approaches need to be explored to ensure smooth and effective integration of these technologies with the power grids. This track will cover the case studies globally and deliberates the technological considerations and best practices to manage the network.

ENABLING TECHNOLOGIES - DIGITALIZATION AND CYBER SECURITY

With the abundance of critical data in power systems coupled with remote access, operating the system securely without compromising system availability and data privacy is a major concern. Cybersecurity threats are increasing day-by-day and there is continued need to develop mitigation technologies and solutions to make the power equipment/devices, control systems, communication and operations more secure. Today, many concepts like user and devices authentication, data encryption, communication robustness, defence-in-depth, malware protection, whitelisting, system hardening, monitoring and analytics are used by the stakeholders to address cybersecurity issues effectively. All the stakeholders including equipment/device vendors, system integrators, owners/operators of system, government agencies and technology experts have a role to play in making the power operation and delivery secure. This track will cover the latest development and share best practices in this space.

POLICY STANDARDS

With the changing dynamics of the electricity ecosystem, policies & standards become extremely critical to ensure the technical, financial and business viability for all the stakeholders. There is a need to have a robust policy, especially in the areas of distributed generation, renewables, electric vehicles and energy storage. Consumers should be made aware of the changing scenarios and engage them in the decision process. It is imperative that all the stakeholders in the future utility ecosystem should support the evolving regulatory standards and ensure a seamless transition. Environmental aspects also have to be considered. This track will share the views of various leaders driving policy and standards to ensure that the key interests of all the stakeholders are safeguarded.

ENERGY STORAGE

Energy storage has a versatile role to play in operating grids and providing value to all the stakeholders. This includes balancing demand and supply, regulating frequency, decentralization of generation, managing renewables and providing autonomy for consumers. Energy storage will also play a very important role in achieving the full potential of new and upcoming technologies. This track will cover the latest developments in technologies, new business models, grid dynamics, learnings from pilot demonstrations and operational considerations associated with these technologies.