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Smart Grids: Dept of Energy Report & Cisco Thoughts, Part 1

July 28, 2009 - 3 Comments

The Dept of Energy has released in July 2009 its Smart Grid System Report. While many industry observers and experts have provided observations and predictions about Smart Grid adoption, this report offers an excellent 20 point summary of both current penetration of various Smart Grid components and predictions on trending for them looking forward.In Part 1 of this blog series, I’ll focus on those areas rated Moderate today and/or have a Moderate to High trend rating. (Note: the 20 Smart Grid components are grouped into categories of Coordination Regimes, Distributed Energy Technologies, and Transmission/Distribution Infrastructure)There are several areas marked as “Moderate” for either penetration or trending in the Coordination Regimes bucket. While Realtime Data Sharing and Resource Interconnection policy are currently rated Moderate, all 4 areas are trended Moderate going forward, including Regulatory Progress (how much of SG investment utilities can expect to get back) and Pricing (realtime, time of use, etc). These latter two points are clearly key to utilities, as they determine how they can change the pricing and resulting revenue streams from their energy services — and truly change how they do business. Thus I’m surprised not to see them as High in trending over time.Another area of interest, which is marked today as “Nascent” but with “High” trending is Grid-Connected Distributed Generation and Storage. In more common English, that’s the ability to connect renewable and non-renewable sources of energy generation (e.g. wind farms and solar panels) and storage mediums (e.g. plug-in electric cars in the future) to the Grid. This will also be a critical factor as the Grid evolves from monolithic “we generate power at the plant and transmit it down” to much more of a “mash up architecture” for overall energy creation, similar to today’s more cutting edge software development trends (can you say “Zillow” or “Facebook”?).In the next edition of this Dept of Energy report review, we’ll look at and share thoughts on AMI and cyber security for the Grid, as well as note a couple missing areas worth taking a quick look at.For now, join us and share your thoughts on what you’re seeing as key areas of Smart Grid early penetration, and/or key trending areas for us to keep our eyes on…

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  1. Fully agreed. Particularly since there is a 10-20 yr. time gap before we're going to see new alternative energy sources deployed at scale, that will backfill a significant double digit % of the power supplied by fossil fuels today. Thus Smart Grid deployments will allow countries to educe the burn"" on natural resources and ""extend our energy bank account"" while we continue developing and scaling up production of those new energy sources/technologies."

  2. Well, penetration of various Smart Grid components is a must to ensure development trends and ensure renewable and non-renewable sources of energy generation for future generations

  3. While I have just started Cisco school in Phoenix its slide 14 I liked the very most. I also believe this would be a advantage in a natural disaster. I would like to see a work around when flooding takes place.Thanks, Jason