Smart Grid: Getting (Even More) Heated
- Sunday, 01 May 2011
Very few would contest the potential benefits of Smart Grid, but the topic has always been a little … heated. Why? Perhaps the number of stakeholders involved -- surely, any time you sit consumers, policymakers, utilities, technologists, and environmentalists at the same table, you’re bound to get some friction.
Very few initiatives involve as many players as Smart Grid, and while obstacles prevail on our road to progress, we’ve witnessed some successes. As I sit here now, I am thinking about some of the challenges we’ll need to overcome -- as an industry -- to ensure Smart Grid success:
- The consumer concerns over health, privacy and fairness - Whether it’s concerns over the health consequences of radio frequency, fear over loss of personal data, or worry that Smart Grid will be a disadvantage to those less fortunate, groups of consumers and consumer advocates across the U.S. are resisting Smart Grid deployments nationwide.
- Moving ahead with demand response (DR) - While much of the industry applauded FERC’s recent ruling to place the same value on “negawatts” avoided as on “megawatts” generated, we’re now seeing a variety of industry groups challenge the methods FERC is proposing to enable DR. With DR as such a critical component of Smart Grid -- on both sides of the meter -- how do we reach consensus?
- Enabling Smart Grid innovation - Of all the Smart Grid topics, none stand out more than the ability for Smart Grid to enable innovation – both on the grid side, and more importantly, on the consumption side. While we’ve seen an influx of new technologies within the traditional energy space, there is room for fresh thinking – for new entrepreneurs to enter from a different perspective and create what the industry has often called “the killer app.” If we think...