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IEEE: The expertise to make smart grid a reality

IEEE Takes the Lead on Smart Grid

By Bill Williams
Even as the term “Smart Grid” is becoming a household name throughout the United States and around the globe, the definitions of the term remain nearly as varied as the number of reference sources. The Department of Energy defines the Smart Grid as, “the electricity delivery system, from point of generation to point of consumption, integrated with communications and information technology for enhanced grid operations, customer services, and environmental benefits.” But IEEE simplifies and broadens the description by saying, “The Smart Grid has come to describe a next-generation electrical power system that is typified by the increased use of communications and information technology in the generation, delivery and consumption of electrical energy.”

Regardless of the precise definition, development of "smart" technologies to foster more efficient use of technology has become a key element in plans to lower consumer energy costs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. To help promote this development, IEEE is working to position itself as a global leader in the effort to coordinate and develop the necessary expertise, standards and application of Smart Grid technologies.

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