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Solar an integral part of smart grid's future

By Donna Donnowitz
May 8, 2014

Smart grid adoption is on the rise across the globe, but especially in the U.S. where utilities are looking to optimize their offerings to the public. These solutions enable lower cost energy deliver, support for sustainability projects and improvements for distributed and decentralized energy goals. As these efforts continue to grow, providers should expect to see another trend rise along side smart grid investments - solar.

According to Mother Earth News, solar power generation, particularly consumer installed solar panels, is expected to overtake the current utility economy by 2052. Fossil-fuel based power generation is predicted to die off - as it is already beginning to do - and be replaced by renewable resources like solar. In his book "2052," Jorgen Randers, a professor of climate strategy at the BI Norwegian Business School, outlines his predictions for the brighter future for energy markets, as well as the general state of the world 40 years into the future. Based on current trends, as well as his own experiences in sustainability and the predictions of other leading scientists, the book focuses on how solar is likely to overtake fossil fuel-based energy systems.

"Already, all fossil-based energy production requires heavy capital infrastructure. As the quality and quantity of fuel resources decline, the capital required to extract a gallon of fuel will increase dramatically (witness the intensity of capital required to develop the tar sands reserves)," an excerpt from the book reads. "Yet, eventually, suppliers worldwide will be able to produce electricity with relatively small and modular hardware. As this trend develops, both transportation and space conditioning will turn toward increasingly efficient electricity-based hardware. ... The primary renewable electrical energy source will be solar."

As the world turns toward solar, it is the responsibility of utilities to invest in the advanced smart grid solutions to support it - as well as being critical for their continued survival in a distributed power system. Terminal servers, serial to Ethernet converters and the right Remote I/O solutions will help utilities advance their operations and optimize the management for both traditional and new power sources to ensure their customers are benefiting from the changes.

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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