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Canada steps up smart grid deployments

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, July 05, 2012

A new report from GlobalData shows that Canada is quickly gaining ground on the U.S. in terms of smart grid development and deployment, Smart Meters reports.

According to the news source, the U.S. was one of the first countries to begin installing new smart grid technologies as the Obama Administration developed policies aimed at increasing energy efficiency. Canada, on the other hand, has taken a more cautious approach to the smart grid, but the report stated that "stronger environmental worries are driving Canada to gear up and introduce more electric vehicles."

"The U.S. introduced the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) in 2009, which allocated $3.4 billion of federal investments to smart grids. Similarly, the Canadian budget for Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) projects in 2009 gave funding of $795m under the Clean Energy Fund (CEF) to promote clean energy advancement," the report read.

The report stated that the funding was used for several large carbon-capture projects and slightly smaller operations that support biomass, geothermal and other renewable energy sources. To properly introduce these sources to the grid, smart grid technologies had to be developed.

The U.S. smart grid is currently in a transitory phase, as deployment of smart meters is expected to hit its high in 2014, followed by greater development of less visible but highly important technologies for energy utilities. Canada, however, has yet to establish a similar time frame, according to the report.

Still, greater demand for energy efficient operations is driving many utilities to adopt technologies that help create a more stable grid.

"An increasing demand for energy efficiency and grid reliability is leading to development of the demand response market as Canada is poised for its annual demand response capacity to be multiplied nearly 20 times by 2020 compared to 2011 levels," the report stated.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. has been dedicated to smart grid technologies, as they promise to significantly improve overall grid efficiency and reliability. By installing remote control and automated technologies, utilities can save huge amounts of time and costs.

SUBNET has developed products and solutions that help utilities get the most out of their smart grid technologies by allowing them to securely collect, analyze and manage data from a wide variety of intelligent electronic devices. 

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