Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Smart grid progressing at rapid pace
The smart grid industry is at a crossroads. For the past few years, utility providers the world over have been gathering resources, making early smart meter deployments and preparing for large-scale projects. Now, the industry resides in a period of transition where those early investments need to be applied to actual use. If smart grid technologies are installed efficiently and supported by the right tools, they could revolutionize an aging utility grid. However, how providers move forward with smart grid development will dictate the technology's progression.
A recent review of the smart grid sector from NRG Experts underlines this movement, according to a recent SmartGridNews.com report. NRG Experts found that significant progress has been made in the smart grid industry and utility providers are on the cusp of further developments as the technology continues to advance.
According to the news source, the study provides little when it comes to surprising new information about the smart grid. Instead, it pretty much tells the world that what most experts believe about the industry is fairly accurate - smart grid is advancing quickly and amid a pivotal transition period from initial investments to actual deployment. A few statistics stand out in establishing this perspective.
NRG Experts found that the world will need approximately $2 trillion in total investments to make the transition from the current grid system to the smart grid. The study also found that smart grid spending in the United States will need to reach approximately $480 billion for the technology to achieve widespread use. According to SmartGridNews.com, this projection falls neatly in line with the widely believed estimate that U.S. smart grid investments will need to climb to somewhere between $400 and $500 billion for the entire nation to switch to the new grid format.
The need to spend heavily on smart grid may seem prohibitive to making the transition, but the full value of the technology comes in its ability to reduce energy costs and improve sustainability. As a result, many smart grid projects end up with a projected return on investment as the technology allows utility providers to streamline electricity delivery in such a way that generation needs decline, outages are limited, maintenance can be performed more efficiently and overall costs of keeping the grid active often decline.
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