I was honored to participate in a panel on "The Grid of Tomorrow" with several of my esteemed industry colleagues and peers from the media, as well as analyst firms, at GE's America's Software Summit. The panel was tasked, in part, with identifying the most disruptive or transformational changes facing the energy industry. The answers were revealing.
As FierceSmartGrid reports from DistribuTECH this week, some interesting trends are emerging -- namely in regard to customers, collaboration, and critical technology.
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By now it's old news that Google has acquired Nest Labs, best known for its smart thermostat, in a $3.2 billion cash transaction. What isn't as clear is why Google has delved into the "smart" market and how it might make a lasting impact on the smart grid.
FierceSmartGrid and Zpryme have been polling smart grid industry executives since November, but what we learned in July delivered a bit of a surprise when smart grid sentiment dropped significantly.
The results of the FierceSmartGrid/Zpryme Smart Grid Index (SGI) for June are in, revealing that overall smart grid sentiment is at an eight-month high -- up 21 percentage points among utilities.
A range of smart grid projects and faster wireless communications are driving mobility in the utility sector. With the number of mobile software solutions and apps available today, utilities can deliver field mobility that integrates operations, drives efficiencies and enhances user experiences. But field mobility is more than just deploying the latest devices and can be fraught with challenges.
There are more players vying for a piece of the smart grid pie and less stimulus funds to spend. However, the overall outlook is still quite positive from both a utility and vendor perspective.
IT/OT convergence delivers high degrees of grid automation, sensing and visibility; achieves greater control of distributed generation; and provides better support of regulatory compliance. Those are just a few points touched on by an expert panel of speakers during yesterday's Fierce Live! Webinar, "The IT/OT Integration Imperative," sponsored by ABB.