Thursday, December 8, 2011

Expanding the Smart Grid edge into the home

The Smart Grid industry has faced an uphill battle to achieve widespread adoption because it has only been able to take a supply side approach. All the optimization has been on the supply distribution side and not on the demand side, at least not for residential consumers. In order to gain the capability of offering demand side value at a more granular level, the industry will need to expand the boundaries of their firm from outside the home with smart meters to inside the home with intelligent consumption at the individual plugged in device level.

There are several major issues that will need to be met to extend the energy grid network into the home:
  • Technology: In home energy grid networking has in the past utilized either very low bandwidth existing power wiring or low frequency wireless to avoid the 2.4ghz Wi-Fi spectrum. These networks have historically been isolated and not connected outside the house to the smart-grid. 
  • Process: The industry will need to establish processes to provide security and protect connected devices within a home from outside intrusion. 
  • Governance: The industry will need to establish decisions rights that protect consumer privacy. 
  • People: By expanding to interact with consumers directly the energy sector will need to expand their personnel skills to include consumer help lines and consumer facing public relations.

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