A study conducted by BearingPoint and the Institute of Power Systems and Power Economics of the University RWTH in Aachen comes to the conclusion – cloud computing technologies bare huge potentials for the advance of the German energy sector, especially for the energy transition. However, in order to exploit the potentials of the technology data security and privacy of stored data needs to be ensured.

For the study, nearly a hundred decision makers in German energy companies were interviewed – including E.ON , RWE, EnBW and Vattenfall . A consensus throughout the experts is that innovations such as smart meters and smart grid result in rapidly growing data volumes and increasing communication requirements. For 70 percent of the experts cloud computing technologies are a way to utilize the growing data amounts in a cost-effective way.

A wide variety of applications for cloud computing technologies in this changing market environment is currently under discussion. According to the experts cloud computing can for example support the successful integration of a growing amount of decentralized renewable energy sources in the electricity market. In analogy to ebay for physical goods, this is achieved by creating regional marketplaces at which private persons can sell the energy they are generating or purchase the energy they need (Smart Markets).

Another field in which the experts expect cloud computing technologies  to play a big role is in the development of new business models. One example is Enabling innovative applications for smart meters is one of the crucial factors to make use of the prescribed rollout. Nearly 90 percent of the experts expect cloud computing technologies to play a big role in this area of innovative service offerings.

Background: Cloud Computing is the flexible offering of storage capacity or computing power via the internet. Users – especially “intelligent” machines – no longer need to have expensive processors and vulnerable hard drives physically available, but can employ it as a service whenever needed in exactly the needed volume. The Vision is, that this makes computing more flexible and enables widespread use of intelligent components.

Stefan Pechardscheck, Partner

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