While the smart-grid sector and the oil and gas sector have a multitude of differences, they share a common trend: Both are adopting M2M networking combined with a layer of data analytics to help lower costs and drive efficiencies. These two sectors illustrate how M2M technology and data are transforming the energy industry.
This report examines the drivers of M2M-data exploitation in the smart-grid sector and the oil and gas sector, as well as the risks and opportunities for buyers and suppliers of the related core technologies and services. Key findings of our analysis include:
- Utilities will see the value of smart meters initially for cost reduction, with better load-forecasting and demand-side energy-management systems and demand-response systems on the near-term horizon. Virtual power plants are still largely conceptual for utilities, but they have value in helping them begin thinking about using software solutions to avoid building new peaking power plants.
- On the consumption side, smart-grid M2M data presents new opportunities around behavioral as well as residential demand response (DR). Consumer-engagement platforms still struggle to find clear adoption by utilities and consumers.
- The initial wave of opportunity in M2M and oil and gas is coming from remote monitoring and surveillance with an eye to increasing operational efficiency and reducing business and safety risks. Oil and gas operations are moving from a reactive to proactive model, based on preventative maintenance.
- Heightened concerns over environmental safety are also driving M2M data programs. M2M data offers companies a chance to improve safety, both in a workplace scenario and along high-risk distribution channels.
- From the upstream to the downstream market, sensor data is being collected to improve productivity and distribute oil and gas more quickly and with greater accuracy.