2Q 2018

Creating an Agile Energy Cloud Platform

In its Energy Cloud 4.0 white paper, Navigant Consulting, Inc. (Navigant) discusses how Energy Cloud platforms will support the business models required by a clean, intelligent, mobile, and distributed energy system. The transition from an asset-focused to a network orchestrator model shifts utilities’ attention to many new business models—such as transactive energy, distributed energy resources (DER) aggregation, solar PV installations, and so on—based on geographic location, customer needs, and regulatory requirements.

However, as these business models mature, they will converge. Traditional point solutions are too rigid to support the network orchestrator model; rather, an agile platform is needed to leverage value within the Energy Cloud. A utility’s digital transformation must be agile if it is to maximize the value in the Energy Cloud. Traditional technology deployment methods will not deliver this agility, so utilities must change their approaches to platform adoption. While many recognize the need for an Energy Cloud platform, few have a complete understanding of what this means in practice. Utilities lacking a coherent platform strategy risk being left behind and missing out on the new revenue opportunities the Energy Cloud offers.

This Navigant Research report examines the drivers for Energy Cloud platforms and the issues that utilities may face when building a platform. The study explores the benefits of digital transformations and agile platforms, as well as the importance of new business models that enable utilities to embrace the new value created by DER. It also provides practical recommendations for utilities on how to create an agile Energy Cloud platform.

Pages 14
Tables | Charts | Figures 4

  • Why are agile Energy Cloud platforms so important?
  • Why should utilities implement agile digital transformations?
  • Why are each utility’s requirements unique?
  • What are the key drivers for Energy Cloud platforms?
  • Why do traditional IT deployments hinder the development and adoption of agile Energy Cloud platforms?

  • Utilities
  • Regulators
  • Technology vendors
  • Analytics software vendors
  • Internet of Things (IoT) platform vendors
  • Systems integrators
  • IT consultants
  • Energy Cloud startups
  • Investor community

Spark

Context

Recommendations

The Energy Cloud Pushes the Industry to Digital Platforms

The Energy Transformation Requires a Digital Transformation

Platforms Will Be the Foundation of the Energy Cloud

Traditional Methods Hinder Energy Cloud Platform Adoption

Past Approaches to Technology Development Create Closed Systems

Past Failures Can Leave Organizations Reluctant to Deploy New Technology

Conservatism Lengthens Deployment Cycles and Delays Time to Value

The Energy Cloud Turns the Last-Mover Advantage into a Disadvantage

Agile Energy Cloud Platforms Share a Common Conceptual Architecture

Implement a Productive, Agile Digital Transformation

Assess Organizational Ability to Deliver an Energy Cloud Platform

Ensure the Platform Incorporates Agile Features and Functionality

Align Energy Cloud Platforms with Long-Term Strategic Objectives

Integrate with Legacy IT Infrastructure

Create a Long-Term Partner Ecosystem

Figures

  • Navigant Energy Cloud 4.0: Network of Networks
  • Changes in Value Flows in the Energy Cloud
  • Steps in the Waterfall Process
  • GWAC Interoperability Context-Setting Framework

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