Smart Grid Implementation: Defined, Demystified and Debated
The “Smart Grid” has come to mean all things to all people. While most in the energy sector, both alternative and conventional, will agree that an updated grid is a necessary step toward a lower carbon economy, disagreement on what that updated grid will look like is widespread. Depending on who is speaking, the “Smart Grid” is either a shovel-ready infrastructure project poised to enrich thousands of unemployed workers across the country or it is a dialogue of signals coursing their way through a complex web of processors that most Americans will never see. As a result of this misunderstanding, the need to define the term, as well as the system’s potential and pitfalls, is crucial, especially as the first of the Smart Grid stimulus dollars are being spent by the Department of Energy.