Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Utilities Consider their Demand for Smart Grid Data

While many smart grid start ups are counting on access to a wealth of energy use new data, utilities are counting the costs of acquiring, maintaining and securing data that doesn't help them do their job better or make money. This Greentech Media post gets at pats of this tension:
The problem, says Andrew Tang of Pacific Gas and Electric, is that utilities need to make money from data if they're going to spend money on handling it. "More granular data... if I don't need it for system reliability and I can't monetize it, why would I want to buy it?" he said.
Read further down, however, and you'll see a few very solid comments in response, including this one:
Consumers and utilities don’t necessarily need more data. They don’t do anything with the rich data they already have (i.e. their electric bill). The role for start-ups, in my opinion, is to translate that data into something useful for both consumers and utilities. And I believe there is a lot of money to be made for companies that can figure out how to do that well.
Translating data into something useful, allowing it to reach those who can use it, and keeping it secure all the while ... that's the job.

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