Transformative Innovation: Pivotal to Adapting Operations Amidst the Evolving Utility Industry

Transformative Innovation: Pivotal to Adapting Operations Amidst the Evolving Utility Industry

As the energy transformation drives the need for significant change and commitments for utility companies across the world, comprehensive solutions are enabling them to make improvements for a more sustainable and resilient ecosystem.

The new energy world is here and it’s accelerating at a fast pace. As energy transition efforts continue, you can find utility transformation at the center. Due to a variety of factors influencing its rapid development, utility companies face ongoing challenges as they attempt to decarbonize, decentralize and digitalize operations.

To tackle present trends in the utility industry and prepare operations for an uncertain future, companies must adopt and implement a comprehensive portfolio of solutions. These solutions must address the entire value chain, enabling companies to upgrade and protect their operations, drive down costs and increase reliability and resilience.


The 3Ds Influencing the Industry

With energy transformation taking place as efforts to replace fossil fuels continue, these are key areas where the utility industry is facing challenges:

1.     Decarbonization

Global regulations are putting pressure on companies to meet carbon reduction targets and timelines. According to a Deloitte report, regulatory pressure targets 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.1 Although this has led companies to set commitments and goals of their own, not all companies are in the same stage of their decarbonization journey.

There are some who already are adopting technologies supporting their transition and production of renewable energy, such as solar and wind. Others are still relying on energy production from non-renewable resources. With the grid becoming more complex as new clean energy sources come online, utility companies must increase energy efficiency and have more reliable and resilient operations.

Additionally, with the rise of electrification, for example more electric vehicles and heat pumps, the demand for energy is also increasing. Distributed energy resources (DERs) such as battery energy storage systems (BESS) will be needed to keep up with the increasing demand without having to rely on fossil fuels.

2.     Decentralization

Not only is addressing regulatory pressure a challenge, but current infrastructure for many utilities isn’t enough or lack the needed capacity to support new technologies and the transition to clean energy sources. Based on an IFS and Zpryme study, 54% of utilities have not implemented a risk-based asset maintenance program within the last few years.2 Operations are also highly centralized, often resulting in grid failures due to the effects caused by unexpected and unpredicted weather events.

3.     Digitalization

It has also become imperative for utilities to reduce risk, increase safety and protect operations. With the adoption of new technologies, modern grids are a critical need for utility companies as they seek to expand capacity to handle complex energy assets.

Whether it’s due to unexpected weather events or overload of the grid, without grid modernization, older equipment can result in greater risk and power outages. Additionally, it can lead to difficulties when implementing new technologies and renewable energy sources.

Cybersecurity has also become an increased area of vulnerability, especially as utilities are now more reliant on digital technologies and connected devices. For example, operational technology (OT) utility professionals encounter issues resulting from shutdowns or loss of operational data due to cyberattacks. Cyberattacks are becoming increasingly frequent and sophisticated, and have the potential to cause severe financial, environmental and infrastructure damage.


Driving End-to-End Transformation

From generation to distribution, the diverse set of solutions within our Honeywell Utility portfolio addresses each area of the utility value chain. Through their thoughtful design, we are helping utilities optimize enterprise resources by working to increase information access, connectivity, productivity, safety and security in these four areas:

1.      Connected Utilities and Future-Ready Digital Platforms

To help meet the demands resulting from the new wave of energy transformation, intelligent, intuitive and autonomous devices and software in our portfolio help bring efficiency and enable informed decision-making to enterprise management.

For the electricity, gas and water sectors, our Honeywell end-to-end solutions are providing connectivity and intelligent technology to help drive productivity and sustainability across the utility value chain.

Our expertise in smart meter technology in combination with end-to-end grid innovations are helping electricity utilities connect solutions that can provide actionable data. Utilities are able to better balance resources, ensure grid stability, drive efficiency and increase customer satisfaction.

Honeywell’s connected energy management system is also focused on increasing safety, sustainability and productivity. Gas utility companies are able to access built-in autonomous equipment intelligence and also gain the ability to remotely access information and activate devices. With our extensive range of high-quality, accurate and reliable gas meters we can help you comply with latest standards for metrology, safety and security.

Additionally, through our comprehensive portfolio of smart meters, software and applications and services, Honeywell’s Connected Water solutions are empowering customers to transform their operations by enabling them to connect, track and manage their entire water networks.

2.      Clean Energy

In order for the world to accelerate and continue making progress toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), actionable solutions are needed. Our ready-now sustainability solutions are helping companies make progress on their environmental commitments.

For example, Honeywell’s Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) is easy to customize, scale, manufacture, install, configure, maintain and recycle. It can help companies have cost-effective operations that can run efficiently and reliably while enabling improved grid stability, increased revenue and meeting peak demands without straining electrical systems.

Through our innovative portfolio of diversified technologies, we are also helping to fuel a more sustainable aviation industry while enabling refiners to economically repurpose underutilized assets, or dedicated new ones, to produce efficient and highly profitable renewable fuels.

Honeywell’s Carbon Capture and Hydrogen solutions are helping companies meet carbon neutrality goals. Our carbon capture solutions help significantly reduce CO2  emissions3 from hard-to-abate industries, while our hydrogen solutions address the entire hydrogen value chain, providing pathways to support a hydrogen economy from production to distribution.

3.      Cybersecurity

Industrial cybersecurity software solutions and services are essential to harden security of your operations and protect the world’s most critical infrastructures and strengthens across Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) technologies.

Honeywell helps you improve your OT cybersecurity defenses and reduce your risks with our vendor-agnostic solutions, designed to assist your team in identifying, prioritizing and reduce OT cyber risk; and to stay prepared for potential vulnerabilities that can affect your assets, operations and process.

4.      Smart City

As cities continue to develop, new solutions are needed to keep up with the increasing demand for services and resources. Through Honeywell’s solution suite for smart cities, more resilience and sustainable cities can be built. With single-view solutions, enhanced citizen engagement and coordinated responses to medical emergencies, cities can improve the quality of life, resilience and sustainability.

Due to unprecedented levels of change and transformation taking place, it’s essential for the utilities industry to implement technologies that can help them adapt and prepare for their operations.

Grid modernization, cybersecurity and energy security are paramount as the utility landscape evolves. With our collective years of experience, Honeywell supports the entire utility value chain with a wide range of solutions that enable progress in tackling your unique challenges.

Contact us and discover how our end-to-end solutions and services can support your utility transformation efforts and prepare you for the future of utility management. 





1 2022 Power and Utilities Industry Outlook, Deloitte

2 The decentralized utility is coming. Are you ready to make the shift?, IFS and Zpryme Study, Energy Central

3 “Significant reductions” refers to 90% overall CO2 capture, as demonstrated in pilot-scale test campaigns at UT-Austin pilot plant and National Carbon Capture Center using flue gas from both coal and natural gas combined cycle sources. CCUS power plants operating today capture around 90% of the CO2 from flue gas (https://www.iea.org/reports/ccus-in-power).