Shaping a New Era in Energy - An Australian Approach to Energy Innovation and Collaboration


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Australia's approach to smart energy is through innovation, collaboration, intelligence and automation.

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Shaping a New Era in Energy - An Australian Approach to Energy Innovation and Collaboration

  1. 1. CASE STUDY: COUNTRY ENERGY CHAPTER 1 ENHANCED STRATEGIES An Australian Approach to Energy Innovation and Collaboration J ust as global demand for energy is try in transformation, and to build new • Empower consumers and improve their steadily increasing, so too, are the capabilities; and satisfaction by providing them with near recognized costs of power genera- • To act with speed in terms of driving real-time, detailed information about tion. A recent report about the possibility leadership, setting the agenda, manag- their energy usage; and of creating a low-emissions future by Aus- ing change and leveraging experience • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to tralia’s Treasury noted that electricity pro- – all while managing risk. meet or exceed environmental regula- duction currently accounts for 34 percent tory requirements while maintaining a of the nation’s net greenhouse gas emis- The net effect of the various government sufficient, cost-effective power supply. sions, and that it was the fastest-growing initiatives and mandates around energy contributor to greenhouse gas emissions production is to drive energy and utility a Global Issue over the period from 1990 to 2006 [1]. companies to deliver power more respon- In Australia, Country Energy, a leading This growing realization of the true sibly and efficiently. The most obvious essential services corporation owned by cost of energy production will be brought evidence of this reaction is the develop- the New South Wales Government, is lead- into stark relief, with the likely implemen- ment of advanced metering infrastructure ing the move to change not just its own tation of a national emissions trading (AMI) and intelligent network (IN) programs organization, but the entire electricity scheme in 2010. across Australia. Yet a more fundamen- supply industry. Australia’s energy producers are enter- tal change is also starting to emerge — a With the strength of around 4,000 ing an era of great change, with increasing change that is leading companies to work employees, and Australia’s largest power pressure to drive efficiencies in both the more openly and collaboratively toward a supply network covering 95 percent of supply and demand sides of their busi- smarter energy value chain. New South Wales’ landmass, Country australia’s energy producers are entering an era of great change, with increasing pressure to drive efficiencies in both the supply and demand sides of their businesses. nesses. These pressures manifest them- This renewed sense of purpose gives Energy recognized the scale and scope of selves in the operation of energy and utili- energy and utilities organizations an oppor- this industry challenge meant no single ties organizations in three basic needs: tunity to think and act in dynamic new ways player could find all the answers by him- • To tighten the focus on delivering value, as they re-engineer their operations to: self. within the paradigm of achieving more • Transform the grid from a rigid, analog with less, and while concentrating on system to a responsive and automated a Powerful allIance their core business; energy delivery system by driving oper- Formed by IBM, the Global Intelligent • To exploit the opportunities of an indus- ational excellence; Utilities Network (IUN) Coalition repre- sents a focused and collaborative effort WRITTEN BY to address the many economic, social and environmental pressures facing these neil cherry — IbM, ben Hamilton — country energy organizations as they shape, acceler- ate and share in the development of the Neil Cherry is a partner in IBM Global Business Services Australia who works with clients in energy utilities smart grid. Counting just one representa- and telecommunications, including Country Energy. tive organization from each major urban Ben Hamilton is Country Energy’s general manager for corporate and business strategy, responsible for electricity market, the coalition will col- corporate planning and reporting, commercial development, sustainability and IT strategy. laborate to enable the rapid development
  2. 2. CASE STUDY: COUNTRY ENERGY CHAPTER 1 ENHANCED STRATEGIES of solutions, adoption of open industry- based standards, and creation of informed policy and regulation. Not only does the coalition believe these three streams of collaboration will help drive the adoption of the IUN, or smart grid, in markets across the planet, but the sharing of best practice informa- tion and creation of a unified direction for the industry will help reduce regulatory, financial, market and implementation risks. And, like all productive collaborative relationships, the rewards for individual members are likely to become amplified as the group grows, learns and shares. Global coalItIon, local results As Australia’s only member of the coali- tion, Country Energy has been quick to capitalize on — and contribute to — the benefits of the global knowledge base, adapting the learnings from overseas operators in both developed and emerging markets, and applying them to the unique challenges of a huge landmass with a decentralized population. From its base in a nation rich in natural resources, the Australian energy and utili- ties industry is quickly moving to adapt to the emergence of a carbon economy. One of Country Energy’s key projects in this realm is the development of its own Intelligent Network (IN), providing the platform for developing its future network strategy, incorporating distributed gener- ation and storage, as well as enabling con- sumer interaction through the provision of real-time information on energy consump- tion, cost and greenhouse footprint. coMMunIty collaboratIon Keen to understand how the IN will work for customers and its own employees, Country Energy is moving the smart grid off the page and into real life. models by which they will be delivered. DeMonstratInG tHe future Designed to demonstrate, measure and These two IN communities are intended In preparing to put the digital age to evaluate the technical and commercial to provide a live research environment work, and to practically demonstrate to viability of IN initiatives, two communities to evaluate current understandings and stakeholders what an IN will deliver, Coun- have been identified by Country Energy, technologies, and will include functionality try Energy has developed Australia’s first with the primary goal of learning from across nine areas, including smart meters, comprehensive IN Research and Demon- both the suitability of the solutions imple- electrical network monitoring and control, stration Centre near Canberra. mented and the operational partnership and consumer interaction and response. This interactive centre shows what Shaping a New Era in Energy
  3. 3. the power network of the not-too-dis- regional development centre, located in legacy systems are operating in an eco- tant future will look like and how it will the city of Bathurst. nomic and environmental ecosystem that change the way power is delivered, man- The centre is designed to help maximize is simply unable to sustain current levels — aged and used. cost efficiencies, accelerate the pace of let alone, the projected demands of global The centre includes a residential set- skills transfer through close links with the growth. ting to demonstrate the “smart home of local higher-education facility, Charles Yet help is at hand, infusing these sys- the future,” while giving visitors a preview Sturt University, and support Country tems with the instrumentation to extract of an energy network that automati- Energy’s application needs as it moves real-time data from every point in the cally detects where a power interruption forward on its IN journey. The centre is also value chain, interconnecting these points occurs, providing up-to-date information providing services to other IBM clients. to allow the constant, back-and-forward to network operators and field crews. Through the centre, Country Energy flow of information, and finally, employing An initiative as far-reaching as the IN will aims to improve service levels and innova- the power of analytics to give these sys- rely on human understanding as much as it tions delivered to its business via skills tems the gift of intelligence. does on technology and infrastructure. transfer. The outcome also allows Country In real terms, IBM and Country Energy Energy to meet its commitment to support are harnessing the depth of knowledge reGIonal DelIvery MoDel regional areas and offers a viable alterna- and expertise of the Global IUN Coalition, In addition to the coalition, IBM and tive to global delivery models. collaborating to help change the way the Country Energy developed and imple- industry operates at a fundamental level mented an innovative new business model lookInG to tHe future in order to create an IN. This new smart to transform Country Energy’s application In many ways, the energy and utilities grid will operate as an automated energy development and support capability. In industry has come to symbolize the cross- delivery system, empowering consumers 2008, Country Energy signed a four- roads that many of the planet’s systems and improving their satisfaction by pro- year agreement with IBM to establish a find themselves at this moment in time: viding them with near real-time, detailed information about their energy usage. And for the planet that these consum- ers — and billions of others — rely upon, Country Energy’s efforts will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions while main- taining that most basic building block of human development: safe, dependable, available and cost-effective power. n reference 1 Commonwealth of Australia. Common- wealth Treasury. Australia’s Low Pollu- tion Future: The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation. 30 October 2008. author’s note: this customer story is based on information provided by country energy and illustrates how one organization uses IbM products. Many factors have contributed to the results and benefits described. IbM does not guarantee comparable results elsewhere. weblInk >>>>>> More information and additional material can be found online at: EUL03003-USEN-00