Thursday, June 16, 2011

How much Smart Grid has been deployed so far?

Not all questions can be answered on the fly.  In fact, not all questions can be answered, period:
  • What, for instance, is black matter?
  • What is my cat thinking?
  • Is there intelligent life on Earth?
  • How does Tim Thomas stop so many shots?
Heck, 99% of us can't even agree on what the Smart Grid is, let alone have a clue about when it's going to be here. Nevertheless, after being asked the question in the title above, I pledged to do some digging and post a response here on the SGSB as soon as I thought I had something. This came at the tail end of the recent Virtual Energy Forum (VEF) session called: "Lessons from the Smart Grid Security No FUD Zone." You can try getting to it by clicking HERE, but good luck.

Now without further delay, procrastination or obfuscation, here we go. If you look at this SmartGridNews write-up of a recent IDC Smart Grid market report, the picture may begin to come into view for you. Sometimes you can infer the past by getting a glimpse of the future (a nifty reversal of common wisdom that you can better imagine the future by studying the past).

Around the world, Smart Meters are being deployed in ever increasing rates. Home energy management systems are expected to go through the roof (so to speak). And grid automation is coming on strong. So, question: how much is deployed today vs. what will be ultimately deployed in 5, 10, or 20 years?

Answer: Some of it, not all of it. We're still in the early days. Given the pace of technology change, probably the very early days. It's a good question to keep asking, though, and for some of us to try to keep answering. But I reckon it ain't ever going to be fully answered, because the Smart Grid (if it's still called that in the future) won't ever be fully here.

Photo credit: Radar Communication on

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