Networking the Smart Grid

1Executive Summary

Smart Grid Market Drivers

In recent years, the calls for investment in smart grid infrastructure have grown increasingly louder. The industry currently stands at an inflection point with regard to smart grid upgrades, with strong support from the U.S. government, state public utility commissions, electric utilities, and technology vendors. The primary motivations for smart grid deployments are: (1) improved grid reliability, (2) improved efficiency of utility operations, (3) integration of renewable power generation assets, (4) enabling of variable price structures for utilities, (5) support for plug-in electric vehicles, and (6) reduced carbon emissions. Some of the key barriers to smart grids include a lack of common vision and definition with the industry, dated utility business models and regulatory structures, a low awareness of smart benefits, capital costs and credit constraints, and concerns about grid security.

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