Emissions plan under review by White House

New EPA ruling drives the importance of smart grid investments.

By Max Burkhalter
April 2, 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency has sent its highly anticipated new ruling on greenhouse gas emissions to the White House for federal review, with the final draft expected to be completed by June 2015. Focused on reducing the impact that power plants have on the environment, the plan is expected to be hotly contended upon its final approval.

According to InsuranceNewsNet, the ruling's opponents claim that the EPA is "overstepping its authority" regarding the matter, and the proposed changes would negatively impact energy prices, driving up the costs of utilities and increasing risks of strain on networks that would cause blackouts. The EPA countered, citing flexibility in the bill and the support that smart grid investments would provide to utilities that would need to close coal-fired plants.

As the utility industry changes it is critical for providers to start investing in energy-efficiency upgrades and smart grid solutions that will help them embrace cleaner, renewable resources that will improve their operations and their impact on the environment. While these efforts may seem costly now, consumer expectations are driving in this direction, and firms that don't start embracing a cleaner image will soon see customers parting ways.

The EPA's ruling is part of President Obama's strategy to reduce carbon emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Smart grid investments in particular are critical for achieving emissions reduction goals and supporting operational changes that the new ruling would bring about. These strategies will enhance the resilience of energy networks and help reduce the costs and strain that the elimination of coal-fueled and other high-impact power plants could bring. Optimization through investments in enhanced technology, such as terminal servers, smart meters and serial to Ethernet converters, will ensure stability as the energy industry moves forward.

While opponents may argue against the EPA's new ruling, these changes are essential for the sustainability of the market, and utilities need to carefully consider their next steps as they invest in advanced technologies.

Perle offers a range of cost effective serial-to-Ethernet converters to help meet NERC-CIP compliance for the protection of critical cyberassets in substations. The IOLAN SDS HV/LDC Terminal Server is designed to meet harsh environments associated with Power Substations with attributes such as support for substation AC and DC voltage ranges, extended operating temperatures and meeting emission, immunity and safety approvals associated with substation IT equipment.


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