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IEEE: The expertise to make smart grid a reality

Arizona State University Talk

On March 23rd both Wanda Reder (Smart Grid Chair) and Bill Tonti (Future Directions Director) gave a talk to Arizona State University’s Energy, Ethics, Society and Policy Seminar regarding the current state of the Smart Grid. Wanda and Bill’s talks were an important component of the seminar’s activities as the university investigates the highly complex and politically charged technological imperative known as the Smart Grid. The seminar’s ongoing focus is to help the State of Arizona develop a comprehensive energy policy through the delivery of an important study entitled “The Arizona Town hall Energy Report”.

The talks by Wanda and Bill included two topics: 1) IEEE Smart Grid Leadership /Future Power and Energy Workforce and 2) The Semi-conductor technology impacts of cloud computing and power Consumption.

Wanda Reder’s presentation entitled “IEEE Provides Leadership for Smart Grid and the
Future Power and Energy Workforce” was a brief overview of the Smart Grid as we know it today and the challenges that we face as a nation and internationally as we seek to empower the engineering workforce of tomorrow.  The presentation covered topics as wide ranging as: Changing Power and the Energy World, Smart Grid Technical Advancements / Challenges, The US Department of Energy’s pursuit of energy storage and the IEEE’s PES Scholarship Plus Initiative.

Wanda’s talk was followed by Bill Tonti’s presentation entitled “A Powerless Cloud: An Enabling Architecture paradigm for Power Efficient Electronics”. This presentation described the power performance issue of the emerging field of cloud computing and the impact that Cloud computing will have on the energy consumption of the world by 2013. The presentation outlined the coming nature of pervasive Cloud computing and interjected some alternative technology insights in semiconductor design that are presently being investigated to mitigate the power demand increases that Cloud computing will require.

Topics in Bill’s talk included: the energy nature of Cloud availability as driven by standby versus active state operational modes, and traditional semiconductor scaling versus possible future architectural configurations.

Present at the talk were leading scholars of ASU, local and section IEEE members including noted scholars Vijay Vittal and Gerald T. Heydt.