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IEEE: The expertise to make smart grid a reality

IEEE Talks Smart Grid on NPR "Science Friday"

PISCATAWAY, N.J., USA, 14 June, 2011 – IEEE, the world's largest professional association advancing technology for humanity, continues leading the dialogue on Smart Grid with a discussion about building a better electrical grid on National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) "Science Friday" show, which aired 10 June. Erich Gunther, a member of the IEEE Smart Grid Task Force, and chairman and Chief Technology Officer of EnerNex, provided expert opinion on the latest Smart Grid trends and issues for both utility companies and consumers worldwide. Listen to the podcast here.

Erich Gunther, who is also chairman of the IEEE Power & Energy Society's (PES) Intelligent Grid Coordinating Committee and IEEE PES Governing Board Member, joined NPR Science Friday host Ira Flatow and fellow experts Joel Achenbach, author and a reporter and science writer for the Washington Post, Karen Herter, president of Herter Energy Research Solutions, and Alex Laskey, president and founder of OPower, as a guest on Friday’s show.

Gunther discusses engineering and technology challenges to upgrade the grid to handle increased loads. He says currently, there are some power transmission facilities and transformers running beyond capacity. The Smart Grid will allow for better management and distribution of power, reduce human error and allow for faster recovery when a transformer trips offline.

"The Smart Grid will allow for customization of power consumption like never before," says Gunther. "Consumers will be able to optimize their usage for what’s most important to them, including the price of their power, remote ability to control appliances, the purchase of renewable energy or concerns about the environmental impact of their home."

Topics covered during the discussion include:

  • Electric Vehicles – the impact of EVs on the electric grid must be planned for and is a major part of grid modernization.
  • Smart Grid Sensors – which will make the Smart Grid better and more reliable, include phasor measurement units that utilities will install to monitor the grid more effectively than before.
  • Renewable Energy – the grid needs to be modernized to allow renewable energy to become conventional for consumers, meaning more homeowners can install solar or wind units, generating power that can be sold back to utilities.
  • Find a transcript of the NPR Science Friday show entitled "Building A Better Electric Grid" here.

    Follow @ieeesmartgrid on Twitter. Join IEEE Smart Grid on LinkedIn: IEEE Smart Grid.

    About National Public Radio
    National Public Radio (NPR) creates and distributes award-winning news, information, and music programming to a network of 900 independent stations. Through them, NPR programming reaches 26.8 million listeners every week. Science Friday is a weekly science talk show, broadcast live over public radio stations nationwide throughout the United States. Each week, we focus on science topics that are in the news and try to bring an educated, balanced discussion to bear on the scientific issues at hand. Panels of expert guests join Science Friday's host, Ira Flatow, a veteran science journalist, to discuss science and to take questions from listeners during the call-in portion of the program.