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.
Clearly, utilities recognize the value and necessity of deploying smart grid technologies, as the majority of utilities (an average of 70 percent over the past six months) have consistently revealed that they are submitting new smart grid proposals.
ComEd is already losing an estimated $168 million in smart grid funding as a result of the $100 million annual reduction in funding by the Illinois Commerce Commission beginning in 2014. Now, the utility faces a class action lawsuit and a $182 million penalty for delays and costs associated with its smart meter rollout.
Some in the industry have touted home energy management systems (HEMS) as the next smart grid killer app. However, no one told homeowners.
Overall, the last five months of data reveal that the majority of utilities are committed to building a more intelligent grid.
For those of you who were unable to attend the IEEE Innovative Smart Grid Technologies (ISGT) conference in Washington, D.C. this week, reading FierceSmartGrid is as good as being there.
Index respondents believe that more resources are needed to engage and educate utility customers in the United States with vendors and utilities alike reporting that North American IOUs must take the lead in developing progressive customer engagement strategies to avoid customer backlash.
In last evening's State of the Union Address, President Obama pledged his commitment to advancing clean energy and investments in domestic energy.
DistribuTECH 2013 in San Diego, California, had it all: demand response, customer-based analytics, system wide architectures/platforms, advanced solutions for water utilities, distribution automation, optimization, cyber security and data privacy, "self-healing" grids -- and the most innovative minds in the industry to bring them all together.