Smart Grids Infrastructure Technology and Solutions by Stuart Borlase
Book Details :
LanguageEnglish
Pages586
FormatPDF
Size9.45 MB

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Smart Grids Infrastructure Technology and Solutions by Stuart Borlase



PREFACE

Never before has there been so much attention on the electric utility industry and such widespread use of the phrase “smart grid.” From where we are today, the smart grid has promised the glory of electric grid transformation, utility heroes, incredible technology breakthroughs, dreams of consumer enamorment, a cleaner environment, and job creation. Utilities and vendors alike have been clamoring to be the first in smart grid, many ideas of smart grid have been presented, and there has been week after week of some kind of smart grid meeting or conference.

There have certainly been some changes in the industry since the marketing hype around intelligent grid and smart grid first started, and there have been some serious efforts at making sense of it all through collaboration and demonstrations worldwide. However, fundamental questions still remain: what exactly is smart grid? how do we get there? and the favorite is smart grid real? While smart grid is an elusive term with many different interpretations, there seems to be a gathering of critical mass in the thinking of the electric utility industry around the needs of smart grid and the reform in regulation, technologies, and applications.

It is without a doubt that the smart grid initiative has gained much interest and backing worldwide, driven in part by regulatory initiatives in advanced metering and from funding opportunities, not only in the United States, but also in other regions of the world. Smart grid has led to the focus on more efficient and environmentally friendly electric energy solutions and has helped heighten the awareness and commitment from consumers in energy reduction. Changes in the utility industry have historically been very slow.

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Yes, some technologies touted as smart grid have been around for many years, but I think that in most cases with these existing technologies there has not been a concerted drive to move away from pilots and demonstration projects to more scalable and widespread deployments with sustainable benefits. I define smart grid in terms of not what it is, but what it achieves and the benefits it brings to the utility, consumer, society, and environment. The smart grid should focus on advancements in technologies and synergies in the integration of IT and operations applications that will bring more far-reaching benefits than imagined today and bring about tremendous change to the industry. Are we at this level of smart grid today—of course not.

Will we get there—who knows at this point in time. Smart grid seems to be in a dormant phase, spurred to this point by an initial focus on deploying smart meters and system-wide AMI through major regulatory and funding initiatives, currently held in check by global market and financial crises, and hesitant to progress based on a mixed review of past successes and failures. This book discusses the current buzzword in the electric utility market, “smart grid,” and answers the following questions: what is smart grid? why is the concept of a smart grid receiving so much attention? and what are utilities, vendors, and regulators doing about smart grid?..


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