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Developing the Energy Internet

The China ‘Internet Plus’ action plan is organized to disrupt and transform businesses across multiple industries, including the plan for a new energy market valued at hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars.

Hundreds of Billions

The Energy Internet is one of today’s hot topics.

Essence Securities estimates the value of China’s Energy Internet market will exceed USD 760.4 billion. In the U.S., the General Electric IoT energy management platform is projected to provide value-added service revenue of about USD 7 billion. In Germany, more than 1,100 companies are selling electricity, and startup companies provide Photovoltaics (PV), power storage, and electric vehicle services from day one of operations.

Energy Internet Advances

The Energy Internet is expected to affect the following areas:

  • Intelligent Terminals Connected to the IoT: Automated power distribution and metering make the Energy Internet possible.
  • Intelligent Systems Based on Big Data Platforms: Energy generation, storage, transmission, and consumption systems collect real-time data streams that work in conjunction with Big Data analytics.
  • Open Cloud Platforms: Information and trading exchanges are designed to interconnect between energy sectors.

Fully Connected Grids

In 2014, Huawei proposed an Energy Internet based on ICT technologies that we called the ‘Better Connected Grid,’ which includes the following features:

  • Comprehensive Data Sharing: Allows the integration of widely scattered digital resources on cloud computing and Big Data platforms.
  • Agile Communication Networks: Mass data collection is best connected to cloud information processors over wideband backbone networks.
  • Connected Intelligent Terminals: Open Machine-to-Machine (M2M) platforms are used to implement high-speed IoT interconnections between intelligent meters, sensors, and controllers.

Energy Internet Business Models

The Energy Internet is poised to disrupt traditional energy markets and bring new opportunities by adopting the following business models:

  • Transform the Ecosystem: Energy monopolies are typically asset-heavy, vertically integrated, and highly regulated.
  • Sustainable Power: Favored by innovation-oriented startup companies, opportunities for new forms of environmentally friendly energy utilities extend from upgraded electricity generation and transmission facilities to renewable power sources, economic models, and marketing strategies.
  • Asset-Light Cloud Architecture: Asset-light Internet companies operate on open cloud platforms, with consumer-oriented front-end information assets that allow data-driven competitive advantages over traditional energy suppliers.

Disruptive Innovations

Software-defined transformations in the ICT industry provide momentum to the Energy Internet market to break from siloed IT infrastructures that were built using decades-old technologies.

Adopting advanced ICT technologies is a breakthrough moment for traditional energy companies, as heavy, fixed assets are leveraged into digitalized resources at the defining edge of an evolving Energy Internet.

By Gao Wei

Energy Sector Marketing Director, Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.