ABB Wireless

Friday, October 2, 2009

Smart Grid Benefits from Stimulus Funding

After years of much promise, it looks like developments relating to the Smart Grid in the United States will be getting a big boost from federal stimulus funding, according to recent article in the Wall Street Journal. These grants will help the utilities make the move to a digital infrastructure that can enable advances not unlike those experienced with the spread of the Internet. Implementation of smart meters, broadband communications, mesh networks and other technologies will "allow utilities to monitor usage almost in real time, letting them charge variable prices based on demand, for example. Corporate and residential customers would acquire tools to manage their energy use. Residential customers could be given an in-home meter to see how much power they are using and what it is costing them," according to the article. This can result in lower electric bills, improved demand response, less need for added generation capabilities and, ultimately, reductions in pollution and greenhouse gasses.

A number of utilities and other vendors are actively addressing the opportunities presented by these Smart Grid developments. As long as these initiatives move forward with open standards that encourage the type of innovation seen with the Internet, we anticipate a robust industry with a wide range products and technologies which can be tailored to many needs that will have much to offer utilities, vendors and consumers alike.