White Paper Energy and UtilitiesThe state of smarterenergy and utilitiesSmarter Industries Symposium, Barcelona, November 2010
1 The state of smarter energy and utilitiesThe possibility of smarter industries business to Barcelona to share their stories of a SmarterTwo years ago, IBM first introduced the concept of a Smarter Planet. We called the event Smarter Industries SymposiumPlanet, a world in which collaboration, systems thinking and because while the notion of a Smarter Planet may be global indata analytics improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the scope, the work of building it happens industry by industry,many systems that facilitate life on earth. It was a bold idea, company by company, government by government, andbut one that resonated within the business and government process by process.communities because it is rooted in a deep understanding ofwhat’s possible with today’s technologies and capabilities. For Representatives from ten different industries attended thethis reason, our clients and business partners immediately event, including banking, communications, energy andembraced and echoed the concept. utilities, healthcare, government, insurance, oil and gas, retail, transportation and electronics. And though each of theseTwo years later, IBM has collaborated with more than 600 industries faces unique circumstances in today’s economicdifferent organizations worldwide that are each doing their environment, the most advanced organizations in each fieldpart in making this vision a reality. In November 2010, we share a common outlook. They are the organizations that havebrought many of these world leaders in government and stopped seeing change as a threat and started seeing it as an opportunity. They have changed the conversation from one about problems to one about possibilities.
2“We are climbing out of a global downturn in an environment A path to possibilitiesof accelerating complexity and uncertainty, with an explosion Having the design point of the customer is important becauseof data all around us,” said Frank Kern, Senior Vice President without it, all the innovation in the world has no purpose.and Managing Partner at IBM Global Business Services. “Yet John Kao, Chairman of the World Economic Forum’s Globalthe question on the mind of global business leaders is shifting Advisory Council on Innovation, explained it to symposiumfrom ‘What’s my biggest problem?’ to ‘What’s my greatest attendees like this: “Creativity and innovation are not theopportunity? What are my prospects? What’s available to my same thing. Creativity is the ability to generate new ideas.enterprise now that wasn’t before?’” But innovation requires a goal to move forward.”Analytics, ROI and the customer Kao advocates having a plan, or a system, when pursuing anyDuring the course of the Symposium, attendees saw many innovation. And smarter industries are no different – whichexamples of how organizations are answering those questions is why IBM has produced more than 30 industry-specificwith action. In particular, they saw the power of data and progression paths that identify key transformation milestones,analytics in making smarter industries a reality. “Analytics: outline the return and benefits of each step, and simplify theThe New Path to Value,” a study jointly conducted by IBM journey to getting smarter. The progression paths addressand the MIT Sloan Management Review, found organizations specific aspects of various industries, from building a collab-that utilize analytics outperform those that are just beginning orative care model in healthcare to meeting regulatoryto adopt analytics by a factor of three.1 They use them to requirements for municipal water systems.understand historical trends, to model current conditionsand to predict the return on investment of different courses Not surprisingly, some consistent patterns emerge at eachof action. stage of transformation, which Ginni Rometty, Senior Vice President and Group Executive for Sales, Marketing andAnd though the approaches to analytics vary, every organization Strategy at IBM, noted to attendees of the symposium:shared a remarkably consistent design point: the customer.From Fundacio TicSalut, an institution of the regional 1. Instrument to manage – The collection of data tohealthcare administrator in Spain that has built a shared measure, monitor and understand a systemelectronic medical records system to improve health services 2. Integrate to innovate – The analysis of that data to seefor its citizens, to Best Buy, the electronics retailer that is patterns and identify opportunitylistening to its customers across multiple channels and 3. Optimize to transform – The action of reaching system-engaging them over social networks, smarter industries specific goals and redefining what’s possible.are being built around serving the needs of the customer. Throughout this report, you will read about what was shared“Our customers are asking us to know them, empower at the Smarter Industries Symposium and the stories of howthem, offer them and support them,” said John Thompson, many organizations in your industry are applying this progres-Senior Vice President and General Manager at BestBuy.com. sion path. It’s a path that is helping improve the efficiency and“We’re inclined to listen to them.” operations of hundreds of IBM clients and business partners around the world. It is a path to possibility. And it’s a path to a Smarter Planet, one industry at a time.
3 The state of smarter energy and utilities The state of smarter The collaborative mindset energy and utilities: Collaboration across the industry is essential to fulfill the Enhanced collaboration promise of today’s technologies. This is not a new concept in the electric power industry: major technological introduc- and customer engagement tions (such as nuclear power) and high-profile events (such as The IBM Smarter Industries Sympo- the East Coast blackout in the United States in 1965) under- sium occurred at a time of unprec- pinned the creation of many of the collaborative forums edented opportunity in the energy through which utilities share best practices today, such as theand utilities industries. The recognition that energy and utility European Atomic Forum (FORATOM) and the Electric Powersystems must be modernized and reduce their environmental Research Institute (EPRI) in the United States. Indeed, asimpact, along with policymakers’ elevation of energy to a top mentioned in the opening discussion of the energy and utilitiesnational priority in many nations, have created fertile ground sessions, groups such as the Global Intelligent Utility Networkfor change. At the same time, increased investments in the Coalition and the Global Smart Grid Federation are alreadyindustry by legacy energy and water providers, governments, bringing the industry together to address smart grid issuestechnology companies and venture capitalists are creating worldwide.optimism that rapid progress is achievable. What is new today is the variety of other organizations withWhile utility systems of the future will be composed of many which collaboration is needed. As Mark Carpenter, Vicedifferent elements – from the traditional generating plants President and CTO at Oncor, a U.S. electricity transmissionand delivery wires to newer technologies like storage, electric and distribution company in Texas, said in a panel session,vehicles and home energy management networks – the “If any of us try to do this in a vacuum, we’re in trouble.”conversation at the symposium focused primarily on intelligent And though the current goals of symposium participants variedutility networks (for electricity networks, these are popularly considerably – from preparing infrastructure for the large-scaleknown as “smart grids”). And rightfully so, as these more introduction of electric vehicles, to meeting energy efficiencyintelligent networks will serve as the critical underpinning for and climate change targets, to integrating additional newthe ongoing transformation of the entire energy value chain. sources of production, such as renewable energy generation – each considered collaborating for wider benefit an importantWithin this context, two major themes recurred as experiences part of their strategy.were shared: 1) enhanced collaboration and 2) engagementwith customers. While the conversations focused on the electricitysegment of the industry, many of the lessons learned areapplicable to gas and water utilities moving forward on thepath to becoming “smarter.”
4For instance, two speakers from Europe described projects For example, Oncor’s Mark Carpenter described the company’sthat linked renewable power generation and electric vehicles successes in providing household historic energy consumptionto balance the intermittent nature of wind power with the information through the Smart Meter Texas Web portal and indemand profile for charging electric vehicles and to take near-realtime through wireless interfaces between the compa-advantage of the potential electrical vehicle batteries have ny’s smart meters and customer’s in home devices. As part ofto store power – an intersection of two industries that a few educating consumers on the significant promise this informa-decades ago would have been difficult to envision but now tion has for helping them better manage their use of energyis poised to bring a variety of benefits. – and the resulting potential for cost savings – Oncor created a thousand-square-foot Mobile Experience Center. The CenterFocus on the changing customer is essentially a “smart home” on wheels that travels throughoutThe momentum toward smart grids is changing the relation- the state, allowing customers to experience first-hand how theyship that utilities have with customers. “Customers” in this are now able to make more informed choices about theircontext generally means both intermediate customers such energy consumption and expenditures than ever before.as retail electricity providers and also end-user residentialcustomers, or “consumers.” Historically, utilities’ focus often Although not all consumers will embrace smart grids, manyhad been concentrated on the largest users of energy, generally will. Indeed, IBM’s 2008-2009 Global Utility Consumerindustrial and commercial users. For example, around 1950 in Survey showed that 70 percent of respondents are willing tothe United States, industrial consumption was twice that of experiment with how they interact with energy providers.2aggregate residential consumption. Today, this relationship is These are the households that will create an expanding basenearly reversed. In 2009, residential usage was 1.6 times greater of customers for new products and services related to energy.than industrial – an all-time high for that ratio. With the rise of New capabilities, such as those offered by the Smart Metermore conservation-minded consumers and greater attention Texas portal, can provide tools for these interactions and,being paid to the role of consumer behavior in helping meet provided concerns around data privacy and security areefficiency and sustainability goals, residential customers are addressed and communicated, give electricity providers thebecoming more of a force in the industry, and providers are data needed to provide more personalized and differentiatedtaking notice.1 services.
5 The state of smarter energy and utilitiesThe path to possibilityGlobally speaking, smarter energy and utilities networksare still “works in progress.” New technologies are at variousstages of deployment, and the new business models andcustomer behaviors that leverage them will emerge over time.Many of the initial efforts are limited in scope and scatteredgeographically, though the pace is accelerating. But throughoutthe three-day symposium, every discussion highlighted theimportance of enhanced collaboration and engagement ofcustomers as two elements that are needed to bring all of theefforts successfully together.This will take substantial effort and compromise on the part ofa wide spectrum of stakeholders. In the words of Marco Cotti,who leads business development activities for the networktechnologies unit of Italy’s largest utility, Enel: “All stake-holders of the value chain – customers, retailers, networkoperators, generators, technology manufacturers and regula-tors – will have to work in unison for smart grids and for asustainable energy model.”