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Smart grid awareness on the rise

By Max Burkhalter
November 26, 2013

Awareness of smart grids and the potential for smart meters iscontinuing to grow across the globe, a recent IEEE report indicates. According to the study, the majority of respondents are familiar with the concept and benefits of smart grid deployments, but there is still a ways to go to eliminate misinformation and misconceptions about these solutions. Furthermore, the report suggestions that smart grid stakeholders, such as government officials and utilities, need to up their game when it comes to consumer understanding of smart grids.

The study, which focused on smart grid assessment in the U.S., China, Germany, India, Japan and South Korea, developed a snapshot of current awareness levels among average consumers, 87 percent of which were between the ages of 25 and 34 - the core smart grid demographic. Topics covered included the challenge of adopting smarter services, regulations regarding smart grid deployments and the need to educate consumers on the benefits of smart grids.

"The smart grid holds open-ended promise and opportunity, however, it requires an ecosystem where disparate elements work harmoniously to fully realize the benefits and advantages it offers" said Bill Ash, strategic technology program director, IEEE-SA. "The consumer is one of the most important agents in smart grid, so it's imperative we bring them up to speed through education and outreach, and that the industry thoroughly understands the impact they can have on their business and smart grid deployments. The data in this report will enable industry stakeholders to engage with consumers in a more meaningful, positive way, and better ensure the long-term success of the smart grid as a whole."

One key part of smart grid deployment that providers should considerofferingconsumers detailed accounts of is the technology that goes into adequate grid infrastructure. When consumers are aware of the benefits that get passed along to them from these solutions, as well as the cost of integrating smart meters, terminal servers, serial to Ethernet converters and the like with current power grids, they may be willing to pay more initially for the inevitable improvements down the line. The right information can boost grid deployments, and also help encourage customers to embrace the ideas that smart grid representsa cleaner, more efficient utilities industry.

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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