Many professionals in the energy industry agree that the county's electric grid needs to be modernized but there are a number of questions as to how.
The country's power landscape is changing, but it needs an electrical infrastructure to change along with it. Cybersecurity threats across networks are increasing, as most recently shown by the hacking of the New York Times website, while transmission and distribution reliability is not keeping up with the growing demand for power across the country.
There is a growing chorus in the energy business who believe that the answers to these questions come from the ability to develop a smart grid, that is governed by greater control and communication. While the technologies that can enable this kind of grid are improving quickly, their adoption has not been nearly as rapid. For this reason many people are looking for ways in which smart grid technology can become more of a mainstay.
Smart grid forum
A story by Smart Grid News explains that two groups - the Advanced Energy Economy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Industrial Performance Center - recently held their third forum in an attempt to find solutions to increase smart grid deployment by bringing people together from different sectors within the industry.
The challenges they faced are numerous given that it combines elements of business, industry growth and technological development. The news source explains that a series of goals emerged from the discussions that revolve around creating business models that can help support wider deployment, retail services that can meet customer demands, mobilizing funds to be able to do so and the development of a cohesive strategy across sectors.
One way utilities are advancing smart grid deployment is through the utilization of technology that can help integrate renewable energy into the country's established electrical infrastructure. The need for this technology is becoming increasingly necessary as alternative power sources, like solar energy, grow in prominence.
A story on the Optics website explains that this is especially true in California, where the state hopes to have about a third of its energy come from renewable sources by 2020. For this reason, utilities in the region are looking to roll-out technology that is able to increase communication and control across the grid so that the introduction of these new power sources is more seamless.
One way companies are doing this is through the use of big data on the grid. For example, intelligent electronic devices can measure and manage grid activity along different points of a company's infrastructure.