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IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter - May 2011

Why Building the Smart Grid Will be a Long-Term Project

Medium-term prospects for the smart grid will be among the key technology topics addressed next month at the IEEE's Technology Time Machine conference in Hong Kong. The purpose of the small and, frankly, elite meeting is to assemble people who are betting their corporate and national futures on when critical technologies will mature and take off. To judge from preliminary assessments laid out in a white paper prepared for the conference, some technologies, such as cloud computing, already are at a hockey-stick inflection point, while others, such as the so-called "Internet of Things," will reach that point in perhaps ten years' time. With the smart grid, due to immense technical challenges and acute engineering shortages, the inflection point may be closer to two decades away.

Network Interoperability Is Key to Success

As operational and information technologies converge, enabling a much broader range of applications and opportunities than utilities traditionally have worried about, the premium will be on making systems multi-purpose and fully interoperable. That will require much more integrated, long-term planning on the part of energy companies.

The Realities of IEEE 1901's Ratification

The ratification of IEEE's standard for delivery of broadband communications over power lines stands to trigger higher-volume production of a host of suitable low-cost appliances and networking systems. This is especially significant at a time when the smart grid’s proponents are under increasing pressure to deliver results.

EPRI Ups Estimates of Smart Grid’s Investment Benefits

Revised investment benefit numbers, which could be as high as $2.3 trillion for the United States, reflect a more expansive view of what the smart grid includes—and if the definition were even wider, the long-term benefits would be even greater.

About the Smart Grid Newsletter

A monthly publication, the IEEE Smart Grid Newsletter features practical and timely technical information and forward-looking commentary on smart grid developments and deployments around the world. Designed to foster greater understanding and collaboration between diverse stakeholders, the newsletter brings together experts, thought-leaders, and decision-makers to exchange information and discuss issues affecting the evolution of the smart grid.

Contributors

Clark W. GellingsClark W. Gellings, a fellow at the Electric Power Research Institute, has had a long career in technical management at EPRI, serving in seven ... Read more

 

Marcus TochiaMarcus Torchia is research manager of intelligent grid strategies at IDC Energy Insights. He has 15 years of experience helping ... Read more

 

Jean-Philippe FaureJean-Philippe Faure is chairman of the IEEE 1901 Working Group, a member of both the IEEE Standards Association Standards Board and IEEE ... Read more

 

George ArnoldGeorge W. Arnold is national coordinator for smart grid interoperability at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. He joined ... Read more

 

Wanda RederWanda K. Reder is chair of IEEE Smart Grid, immediate past-president for IEEE Power & Energy Society (PES), and has served on the IEEE ... Read more