A new report has highlighted drone technology to be cheaper, faster and more precise for utility network surveillance.

The key objective of utilities is to provide customers with a reliable power supply with minimal outages, and through smart surveillance, utilities can achieve this.

This will ensure they receive better pricing outcomes from regulatory authorities, and avoid penalties from failing to meet reliability standards.

The report titled, ‘Clarity from above: leveraging drone technologies to secure utilities systems’,  compiled by PwC’s global drone-powered solutions team, estimates the addressable market of drones powered solutions in the power an utilities market at $9.46 billion.

Advanced surveillance technology

Through advanced unmanned technology such as the UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles), companies across the power and utility value chain can capture real-time data and detect a fault before any real damage is caused and prevent unplanned outages.

The report highlights that drone-based inspections can be performed without having to halt the power supply – being able to tend to hard to reach areas that would have been particularly challenging for human personnel to access.

PwC has calculated the global value of incentives related to improving reliability of power supply systems at $609.3 million.

Highlighting the dynamic task that a drone can perform, the study explains that construction work, repairs or trimming vegetation growing around power lines can be performed by drones.

“Drones’ increasing capabilities already allow them to transport building materials as well as assemble, weld and attach different types of parts,” the report highlighted.

Massimo Pellegrino – Partner S&, PwC Italy Digital & Innovation Leader, said: “Tremendous rise in the volume of data will force companies to search for new ways to manage and store information.”

Read the full report here.