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Navigating the multi-trillion dollar smart grid

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By Chuck Adams,  President of the IEEE Standards Association

Chuck Adams

The smart grid market potential is enormous. It is projected to support a multi-trillion dollar global industry during the next two decades. But this market is also very, very complex because it will create a universe of cross-industry and cross-technology products and services that we haven't seen before.

This article will share some specific business considerations entrepreneurs and investors will need to keep in mind if they want to pursue smart grid opportunities.  

Evaluate Your Opportunities Carefully

Smart grid will introduce new power grid technologies and services to incorporate renewable energy, distributed resources and demand management services and it will integrate extended transmission and delivery capability into the grid, improving grid energy utilization. At the same time, it will leverage integrated information and communications technologies to create innovative energy-related services for consumers and businesses. Moreover, it will connect to technologies used by the automotive, consumer, healthcare, smart home, ambient assistance and other industries.

Because this new ecosystem will be so complex, entrepreneurs who are evaluating its business opportunities must perform appropriate due diligence in order to succeed. Businesses will need to fully understand their customers' needs and requirements for participating in smart grid services and they will need to understand the various business and regulatory contexts that will influence how customers will receive smart grid services. They will also need to understand the importance of standards in this emerging industry and which standards are relevant to their particular business strategies.