EDF and Capgemini partner on smart grids

  • January 4, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

French utility EDF and Capgemini are combining their expertise to compete for emerging smart grid projects worldwide.

The control of consumption and the development of renewable energies have become key in a context of global energy transition. As a result, the demand for smart metering and smarts grids is growing rapidly.

Relying heavily on digital tools, smart grids provide in-depth knowledge of electricity supply and demand, and enable the decentralised development of renewable energies as well as electrified uses. By relying on digital tools, it becomes possible to decode traditional electrical infrastructures and recover valuable data.

These data can be used to determine accurately the energy consumption of a neighbourhood, to forecast the next day’s consumption, and to manage the renewable energy production of a wind farm or a set of photovoltaic panels. These innovations, including smart meters, software and applications, let supply be adjusted to demand and thus ensure the balance of the distribution networks.

Between 2014 and 2019, the deployment of smart metering in Europe increased from a 24% penetration rate to around 50%, compared with 65% in North America. This rate is expected to exceed 70% in both regions by 2024. At the same time, projects are multiplying in Asia. India is entering the race, aiming to deploy more than 250 million smart meters in the coming years.

The EDF Group has experience in large-scale smart metering. With the deployment of smart metering in France, the electricity distribution industry is recognised for its technical and technological know-how in the service of great industrial success. Capgemini has led more than 75 projects in the first wave of smart metering, in an end-to-end position, from consulting, deployment and systems integration to metering infrastructures operations.

Marie-Line Bassette, chief executive officer of EDF International Networks, said: “The complementary nature of the expertise of two French industry leaders, their resources and their geographical locations, gives us the opportunity to build a unique offering on the market and to contribute to the energy transition.”

EDF International Networks is an EDF subsidiary that exports electricity network activities internationally, and has more than 70 years of know-how in energy distribution.

By signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU), EDF International Networks and Capgemini are combining their expertise, resources and geographical presence to build common offerings. The aim is to position themselves together on smart metering projects and smart grids initiatives that are emerging around the world.

Sophie Craviari, head of the EDF account within Capgemini, said: “This new form of cooperation, combining our complementarities and international ambitions, is part of an innovative dynamic in the relationship between our two groups.”