The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by optimising operations, managing asset performance and engaging customers to lower energy costs, and growing importance of technologies such as smart grids, energy storage systems and grid modernisation. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Internet of Things in Power: Power grid monitoring system.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

90+ innovations will shape the power industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the power industry using innovation intensity models built on over 83,000 patents, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, EV conductive charging, smart grid remote monitoring, and self-organising networks power optimisation are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart batteries, renewable energy integrated microgrids, and smart lighting system are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are home automation network power management, and prepaid electricity metering, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for Internet of Things in the power industry

Power grid monitoring system is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Power grid monitoring system refers to real-time monitoring of a complex electrical grid for power generation, distribution, consumption and load-balancing. The function also includes the ability to detect grid failures or outages, short circuits, transmission line and transformer parameters, and substation operations.  

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of power grid monitoring system.

Key players in power grid monitoring system – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to power grid monitoring system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Schneider Electric 44 Unlock company profile
Accenture 43 Unlock company profile
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories 40 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 30 Unlock company profile
Koninklijke Philips 20 Unlock company profile
Electro Industries/GaugeTech 19 Unlock company profile
ABB 17 Unlock company profile
Yokogawa Electric 15 Unlock company profile
Siemens 15 Unlock company profile
3M 15 Unlock company profile
Vertiv Holdings 14 Unlock company profile
Hubbell 14 Unlock company profile
NEC 14 Unlock company profile
Nitto Denko 14 Unlock company profile
Tenrehte Technologies 13 Unlock company profile
Electricite de France 12 Unlock company profile
DEPsys 12 Unlock company profile
Eaton 12 Unlock company profile
Sony Group 12 Unlock company profile
Furukawa 12 Unlock company profile
Signify 12 Unlock company profile
Xslent Energy Technologies 11 Unlock company profile
Awesense 9 Unlock company profile
Itron Global 9 Unlock company profile
Centrica 9 Unlock company profile
Yangzhou Oriental Group 9 Unlock company profile
TE Connectivity 8 Unlock company profile
ThinkEco 8 Unlock company profile
Itron 8 Unlock company profile
Rockwell Automation 7 Unlock company profile
DAIHEN 6 Unlock company profile
Synaptec 6 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 6 Unlock company profile
Ably 6 Unlock company profile
State Grid Corporation of China 5 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Electric 5 Unlock company profile
Beijing Sifang Automation 5 Unlock company profile
Omron 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Electricite de France filed the highest number of patents between 2010 and 2021 in power grid monitoring system. EDF Group through its subsidiary EDF International Network has signed an agreement with Capgemini to combine their expertise, resources and geographical presence aimed to deliver smart metering project and smart grid initiatives worldwide.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in Power (2021).

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.