Although tomorrow’s Utility X.0 will still depend heavily on central generation plants, it will also include more renewable generation, storage, distributed generation and electric vehicles. Utility X.0 will need to manage such widely distributed systems, more participants and two-way flows of electricity and information.
Our latest smart grid hiring survey finds that it is still a seller’s market: Companies are having to offer more in terms of salary and bonuses to obtain the recruits they want and need; at the same time, they are expecting more of candidates—both those coming straight out of school and those with some professional experience.
Globally, distribution utilities are rapidly incorporating standards-based smart grid protection and control technologies into their asset base. But they and their regulators still face challenges in terms of marketing products and seeing them accepted by consumers. So smart grid rollouts and trials can no longer be viewed as just “business-as-usual”—new models and regulatory frameworks are required.
The best policy in distribution planning is to anticipate telecommunications requirements and plan comprehensively. The costs of not doing so can include installation of incompatible or redundant systems, an inability to scale systems up and excessively difficult or expensive maintenance. Failing to plan properly might as well be planning to fail.