How Technology is helping in Sustainable Growth
As the hopes and expectations of global community are riding high towards achieving sustainable development, world leaders and policy makers have finally unanimously agreed to come together on a common platform and formulate policies and decisions to handle global climate change, unleash actions and boost investments towards a sustainable future. One of the major drivers that can create positive changes in the environment is increased use of renewable sources of energy, coupled with deploying the latest cutting-edge technologies to reduce energy and water footprints. This goal requires a collaborative effort from all stakeholders, including communities, utilities, technology providers, and policy makers to achieve sustainability goals and other desired business outcomes.
Unlocking the value of renewables: Going the Solar Way!
Solar is emerging as the leading renewable source of energy generation and is gaining high popularity among consumers. As per the U.S. Department of Energy, solar energy could meet up to 14 percent of electricity needs in the U.S. by 2030 and up to 27 percent by 2050. Solar may prove to be one of the most effective solutions to address environmental sustainability and reduce energy burden issues for communities. Thus, it is crucial that communities start adopting and deploying solar.
Installing solar panels enables residential customers to become self-sufficient, generate electricity, and fulfil a part of their electricity needs. Aside from being beneficial to consumers, solar also provides community-based benefits, lowering the grid load, providing bill savings through net metering, and overall lowering of carbon emissions.
As utilities increasingly look forward to upgrading their infrastructure and deploying digital platforms to improve their customer service levels, there is an obvious inclination to quantify results in terms of returns on investments and revenue realization. Further, regulators and policy makers mandate that they meet energy efficiency and water conservation goals. Thus, through smart installations, utilities can easily integrate solar energy into the grid and leverage digital platforms to deliver value added services to consumers. These grid integrations and digital platforms generate huge volume of data – how can this data be used to deliver superior customer experience? Can this in turn lead to a sustainable future?
Big Data: Big Impact
The answer lies in further details! The enormous amount of consumer data captured by smart meters can be dissected and deciphered into meaningful and useful insights using big data and analytics. That data can then be used to derive consumption patterns about consumer usage and tailor targeted campaigns to reduce consumption via DR programs or tariff variations at peak hours. Moreover, consumers can be provided with the same data patterns via digital platforms like mobile or web, to induce behavioral and lifestyle changes, reduce consumption using monitoring, tracking and analysis based on their usage data.
The collaboration between technology, utilities, and consumers can help create better utility-customer relationships while contributing to a sustainable and clean future. Technologies today are not only helping in digital transformation but also contributing towards increasing citizen awareness and education, which in turn leads to informed customers who can make better decisions to improve their energy and water use efficiency. Utilities that are geared to leverage solar and that adopt technology are primed to improve their bottom line and entice their customers to do their part in achieving sustainability goals.
Credit goes to technology!