Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Smart grid investments expected to skyrocket
As the world looks to clean, renewable and reliable energy, utility companies are increasing their investments into smart grid technology to meet that demand. According to a recent study by Navigant Research, annual utility spending on smart grid solutions is expected to continue a massive growth streak, expanding by $57.6 billion over the next nine to 10 years. This growth is being supported by a new trend in the smart grid world - Smart Grid-as-a-Service.
"Smart grid as a service solutions are a small part of the market today, but they have substantial growth potential," noted Richelle Elberg, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. "These flexible models allow utilities with financial constraints to spread project costs over several years, and can provide skilled IT professionals to utilities that may otherwise have difficulty attracting talent."
In its study, Navigant reported that yearly SGaaS service investments will grow from an anticipated $1.7 billion in 2014 to $11.2 billion in 2023.
In order to support the data transmission and communication over the smart grid required for SGaaS utilities will also have to deploy high-quality serial to Ethernet converters and related technology to update their networks and optimize data flow for new smart grid applications and management systems. Current SGaaS investments already include home energy management systems, advanced metering infrastructure, distribution and substation automation communications, asset management and condition monitoring, demand response and software solutions and analytics, Navigant noted.
The right terminal servers and substation upgrades will help utilities match the demands put on them and their smart grids over time and continue updating their infrastructure to keep up with global trends and optimizing their efficiency over time. Without key hardware improvements, the grid infrastructure simply won't be able to handle the bandwidth demands placed on it, increasing latency and slowing down communications - resulting in a network that doesn't achieve its full potential and actually hurts energy efficiency.
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.