UTILITIES & 5G
Q&A with Eric Brown, Chief Technology Officer, Energy Systems Catapult
The future energy system will be much more complex than that of today and it will be much more integrated. Today the energy sector is highly “siloed”; it is essential for a more whole system approach to be taken if we are to achieve Net Zero whilst retaining the security of service that we currently enjoy, and if we are to transform the energy system in an economic and fair way. Digitalisation will be essential to enable this new whole energy system to be achieved; 5G will play an important role by providing the type of communications fabric that will be necessary in the transformed energy system.
Where will 5G contribute?
- Flexibility: A key aspect of the future energy system will be using flexibility to align supply and demand whilst taking best advantage of low carbon sources of energy, supporting assurance of security of service and managing costs
- Network and system operations: Another perspective from an operations perspective will be the potential to automate management and operations functions thereby reducing cost and improving the quality of service delivered.
- New services and value propositions: 5G will enable greater levels of connectivity between people, organisations and equipment that will open opportunities for new business models to be created, deployed and exploited.
- Innovation: Encouraging and supporting new market entrants, technologies and business models will be key to delivering whole system action and achieving Net Zero objectives and economic benefit.
- Connected home and integration of services: There is an expectation that in the future, energy will be part of a set of “lifestyle” services that people buy and use to support them as they live their day-to-day lives. This will emerge as services such as mobility, comfort, entertainment, health, lighting and others become bundled and interactive. 5G will provide technical capability than can support this, and in addition it would enable necessary business models and interactions to occur.