As part of evolving 5G specifications, the two technologies are beginning to make inroads into the smart energy sector.

As more energy assets are installed and required to interact efficiently with grids worldwide, being able to monitor them efficiently becomes even more critical.  This is particularly true for distributed devices and green energy assets such as solar panels or new energy storage systems. 

Also, building, configuring and deploying large connected smart energy networks is normally a complex process requiring many manual interventions.

This is where the integration Internet of Things (IoT) technology will simplify and automate the complexity and versatility. The idea is to streamline and secure the data connection from devices into the grid to provides public utilities with better visibility to accelerate adoption. Also, the data connection has to span across multiple carriers for redundancy.  

Device management will also be simplified, thanks to the ability of IoT tech to reliably and securely identify and monitor all the assets connected to the grid. Low Power Wide Area network technologies such as Narrow Band-IoT and LTE-M will connect smart meters to offer high signal penetration and efficient energy use and seamless integration with the rest of the ecosystem.

Reducing the carbon footprint

One example where smart energy tech merges with IoT tech is a recent partnership between Landis+Gyr, global provider of integrated energy management solutions for the public utilities sector, with Vodafone Business, a communications technology firm.

The strategic global agreement will allow Landis+Gyr customers to connect their smart meters and smart grid applications to over 400 networks in 180 countries using Vodafone Business’ IoT services. Landis+Gyr will also integrate Vodafone Business IoT connectivity in their products and devices to automatically connect to the best mobile network when installed, rather than needing manual set up.

Landis+Gyr’s CEO Werner Lieberherr said: “The partnership will allow us to further elevate our offerings to meet the unique needs of our customers today and in the future… and enable our customers, energy consumers and entire communities to manage energy in a more informed way, making a positive impact on the environment.”

Vodafone Business’ Regional Director (Asia-Pacific) Daniel Beevers, said: “IoT is key to the digitalization of the utilities sector. Connecting assets will help manage energy better and support the safe integration of renewable energy sources into power grids, helping to reduce carbon footprints. We believe NB-IoT will enable more and more companies to be not only more resilient and future-ready, but also more sustainable.”