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Utility confidence growing thanks to smart grid investments

By Max Burkhalter
March 12, 2014

Despite rumors of the imminent death of the utility industry, increased confidence and investment are showing across the globe. From the United States to Europe, focus is turning toward increased energy consumption and capabilities as a major trend for the industry, and more providers are investing in smart grid technologies in order to cope with these demands. This, in turn, is helping promote the growth of utilities despite risks that are prevalent throughout the market.

According to SmartGridNews, Warren Buffet is increasingly investing in electric utility firms across the nation, with the most recent being NV Energy in Nevada. Buffet recent wrote that this will not be his last utility purchase either. The reason behind this movement is less clear, however.

The news source notes that some believe Buffet is moving ahead of the potential decline of utilities, looking to support the nation's energy network and ensure forward progress through investments into smart grid solutions and the related hardware like serial to Ethernet converters.

"[Buffett] is likely looking at a lot of small, regulated utilities that have a lot of growth on the table where his low cost of capital is an incredible advantage," MorningStar analyst Mark Barnett recently told Bloomberg.

At the same time, the European utility scene is blooming, with increased confidence in power and water at record highs, according to SmartGridNews. The news source noted that increased adoption of smart meters, pumps and related terminal servers is helping to support the growth of smart grids across the continent, benefiting from utility automation, increased efficiency of operations and more.

The focus here is on the control systems that help regulate utility use and ensure the quality of delivery at all times across such a broad landmass. For European utility providers, investing in optimized serial to Ethernet converter technology along side smart water pumps and the other systems being deployed will help support data transmission demands necessary for this growth and the increased control over these systems that they are looking for.

Increased investments indicate growing confidence in the utility industry, and support where it is needed most - toward clean, reliable energy.

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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