Return to overview

How are Smart Grids Evolving?

Europe Is Making Fast Gains In The Smart Grid Markets

Industrial internet of things technology is making its way into every platform and sector, and electrical grids are no exception. And like all other industries that have adopted IoT, the energy sector is also looking to smart meters to control, measure and distribute energy resources and to optimise electrical grid performance. IoT projects also highlight areas that need improving or upgrading, such as old or low-performing equipment on the distribution system. As always, IoT adoption is enveloped to optimise the sector performance and minimize downtime and costs in the longrun, while leveraging new technologies with preexisting legacy infrastructure.

How Exactly Does A Smart Grid Work?

Smart cities will reap all of the benefits of smart grid technology, as they allow citizens to make smarter choices about how they use electricity. But before we dive into that, how does IoT actually raise up the grid’s standards? 

With the huge of amount of data that electricity produces, placing a well-constructed IoT management system on top of this enables power companies to see how their power is being harvested in real-time, something that was not previously possible. They can use weather data and other economical outcomes to predict when their may be a sudden uptake in the amount of electricity needed, and can prevent blackouts or take in more electricity from other places in the case of serious hazardous weather. 

Smart grids in 2021 make use of all the same IoT technologies; sensors, gateways, routers and radio modules, but both cellular and radio frequency technology advancements have come to fruition in the last year, ensuring it is even cheaper and more desirable to implement these projects now. 

Digital Collaboration 

With COVID-19 and an increased need for remote technologies, IoT further pushes the need for connectivity and control over our electrical supplies. Instead of having to dispatch workers in the event of a blackout, IoT systems can call in the correct teams in a matter of seconds depending on the severity of the situation and what experts are needed in each nuanced case. IoT devices installed in the substations and their transformers can instead redirect power, instead of having to manually call someone out to fix the problem. This keeps people safe, ensures power is managed appropriately and enables people to carry on with their lives during severe weather. 

Benefits of Adopting IoT Technology on The Grid

Electric utilities are fast realising the magnitude of benefits of IoT technology, for both their own costs and the benefits for consumers:

• With a grid connected to sophisticated weather reporting, utility companies can identify outages faster and using prediction tools, can even predict them before they occur. This gives companies time to offset any issues and be ready to roll out other lines of electricity in case parts of the grid go down. 

• Connecting to a smart grid can highlight problem areas and put steps in place to prevent outages from happening. 

• A smart grid provides insights into old and deteriorating technologies. Once identified, these technologies can be updated to reduce downtime. 

SP Group, or Singapore Power Group, have created an index called “The Smart Grid Index (SGI)…. is a simple and quantifiable framework that measures smartness of power grids globally, in seven key dimensions.”

Their 2020 report shows that Europe have made considerable gains in the smart grid energy development, with a UK energy provider (UK Power Networks) topping the chart. Usually, the USA are ahead as they were early adopters of IoT technology, but Europe have since caught up. Five of the top ten results are European countries, with the other table-toppers including the USA and Australia. 

The seven benchmarks they rate smart energy suppliers on are monitoring and control; data analytics; supply reliability; distributed energy resource integration; green energy; security; and customer empowerment and satisfaction. Europe scored highly in data analytics, DER integration (distributed energy resources), green energy and security. 

As electric vehicle uptake begins to grow, and smart city announcements are made daily, we can look forward to a cleaner and safer future for ourselves and the environment. If you would like to discuss how enabling a smart grid will benefit your company and electricity customers, please get in touch with us today


Brian McGlynn, Davra, COO

Connect on LinkedIn

Stay connected

Davra IoT Platform

Real IoT Solutions in 5 to 7 Weeks