A visit to Intel in Silicon Valley provides an interesting look at the future of technology and how it might impact the energy sector. Advances in semiconductors may not be an obvious link to use of gigawatts in grids, Intel are suggesting that their technology will play an important role in the energy system of the future. The Internet of Things (IoT) provides an interesting commercial opportunity for semiconductor companies with the opportunity for billions of smart internet connected devices to be sold in the coming years.
At Intel’s Silicon Valley base, they dedicate space to describing the how smart cities might actively use connected devices to manage and optimise energy. The examples used show how distributed resources can optimise the use of energy creating an overall benefit in terms of balancing and overall energy requirements. The company website highlights the benefits.
For energy companies, [IOT] means greater flexibility to accommodate new energy sources, better management of assets and operations, greater reliability, enhanced security, better customer service, and enablement of new business models and services.
I’ve blogged about IoT and some of the devices I’ve used but these are all still in the dumb phase. For example, my electric car can’t yet charge when electricity is cheap. The race is now on! Developing standards and the services for customers to capitalise on the new world of smart connected devices is on and there are large numbers of tech companies and start-ups looking at the opportunity at the home, industrial and system level. A notable partnership between Microsoft and E.ON are looking to develop a platform for the home and this is an interesting initiative to watch in 2019.
E.ON board member Karsten Wildberger said:
“Digitization, IoT and artificial intelligence provide us with new opportunities to offer customers increased efficiency and convenience. As a result of our collaboration with Microsoft, we are set to make a step change in the intelligent home sector.”