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Smart grid's growth set to continue moving forward

By Max Burkhalter
November 9, 2011
The movement toward smart grid deployment has already created significant sales and innovation opportunities in smart metering, distribution automation and network infrastructure. This process has created significant innovation in terms of technologies and business models pertaining to smart grid and utility deployment in general. However, there is still more room for growth, and smart grid momentum is expected to continue, according to a recent Bloomberg report.

The 2011 Energy Smart Technologies Leadership Forum, which was hosted by Bloomberg, was recently held in Portugal. The event showcased smart grid's potential, emphasizing that innovative technologies and business process are proving essential to further the emerging approach to delivering electricity through utility providers.

According to the news source, the forum concluded that the smart grid's potential for growth during the next decade depends heavily on how many new products emerge to work within smart grid networks. A growing number of utility providers around the world are turning to smart grid to improve their infrastructure. This means the next decade will see major investments in network infrastructure and other technological systems to make smart grids possible.

However, the benefits of those investments will rely on the number of new solutions that target the smart grid. The forum concluded that smart grid's success could be limited if new services and consumer-focused technologies are not deployed to help people actually take advantage of smart grid's capabilities. This means innovation is still critical for smart grid's success even though many utility providers are sold on the idea of smart grid and are working to upgrade infrastructure.

Because products that support smart grid are critical to the technology's overall growth, the report said regulators will need to work to develop new policies that allow various industries to embrace smart grid by releasing new products. This will create opportunities for smart grid to be embraced by the public.

The lack of products that encourage smart grid use is not the only barrier to the technology's long-term potential. Security is also a critical consideration. In response to this concern, the IEEE is working to revise policies pertaining to its secure authentication protocols to improve smart grid security. This new measure aims to have a broad impact on a diverse range of utility systems.

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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