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Smart Grid -- Vision and Focus
- Posted on December 4, 2012
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Smart Grid represents a great investment for any Utility and they are understandably reluctant to implement a system that does not meet future specifications. The risks of taking procurement decisions on the wrong technologies or services increase with the pace of innovation launches. Results may vary from paralysis of analysis in which no decision is reached to selections from suppliers that are based solely on price rather than best fit to the current and future objectives. Anticipate and plan for the future requires that we focus on a moving target, but plan for the future will require boldness and talent to be made.
The complexity of Smart Grid Projects is constantly evolving and developing as well bringing the need for organization, that is, qualify for better understanding. As a consequence of change continues, the risk exposure is greater. Utilities are accustomed, for example, to own and control all parts of your infrastructure, and this needs to be changed, especially as regards the structure of communication. Deploy new technologies involves a level of risk and uncertainty daunting for an industry that has not changed much in a century.
On the other hand, some changes have altered the landscape operating Utilities, they are no longer responsible only for the delivery cheap reliable power, but now are seen as agents of economic growth and environmental policy.
The first Smart Grid projects around the world have been funded by Governments through funding, prizes and also the tax waiver. As these stimuli are short-lived, The Regulatory Agencies and Utilities have the difficult task of explaining and convincing "Current Consumer" of the outcome of these current projects. Measuring the value of Smart Grid Projects is challenging because it includes both the direct benefits that everyone recognizes immediately, and the longer term intangible benefits that are more difficult to assign a value.
This means that utilities have to deal with the difficulty of managing the stranded costs, if they want to pursue a strategy of smart metering. As we know, stranded costs are the costs associated with technology upgrades that can not be passed on to consumers. As the energy sector is highly regulated, the "Regulatory Issues" will determine the speed of your development, your success and failure. Much more efforts are needed in the definition of critical "Regulatory Issues" for which innovative solutions can be planned and designed.
Smart Grid is an evolutionary process similar to the notion of "Sustainable Development", and has to be implemented in layers. Smart grids require a systems thinking approach to current and future challenges posed by ever-increasing demand.
It can be a trap to think of Intelligent Networks targeting only the technological aspects and is not a single "Technology or Solution", but a series of changes cultural, business, regulatory new vision, new technologies and changing customer behavior, and management has to be less reactive and more proactive.
The smart grid must be defined by outcomes they produce, and these results need to be focused on the major issues facing the Electric Power Utilities. Finally, companies in the "Green Economy" that are connected to the Smart Grid area, need to gain muscle and develop "Knowledge and Pragmatism" to compete with businesses in the "Gray Economy".
When Henry Ford built the Model "Ford T" he also did not ask what consumers wanted. If he asks what consumers wanted, it is quite likely that the answer is this - We want a horse to run faster. He did not ask, and your car was a success, it can also happen with the Smart Grid!
Without efficiency gains, in 2030, we will need 40% more Energy and Water for our needs. China's population today is one hundred times greater than that of the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, and China will reach levels of growth in 10 years that the UK soon 100 years to achieve. Therefore, we are assuming a clash of resource use that will be a thousand times greater - and that considering only the middle class in China.
Energy is an example of commodity that has a guaranteed demand and we can consider Information Technology as a commodity too.
But unlike other commodity classical prices in the area of Information Technology are falling and will continue to fall, the higher demand for information or more people are connected, the prices follow the reverse path.
The tools for IT Management and Automation will optimize virtually any field work activity or process to improve response time and effectiveness.