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Smart Grid News

Smart grid challenges, interoperability remain focus of electricity management

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A new report released by technology giant Oracle and the Future Laboratory indicates that development of the smart grid remains as the center of all solutions for solving the energy management challenges of tomorrow's electric grid.

The report, titled "The Future of Energy," claims the smart grid is capable of sustaining energy production by integrating clean technologies and efficiently aligning power suppliers with users. By wiring intelligence into electric infrastructure, two-way digital technology will be introduced into the energy network that will allow utilities to more easily manage power supply and demand.

"Full deployment will result in a more robust and resilient infrastructure, one that suffers fewer outages and possesses the necessary flexibility to accommodate renewable generation, electric vehicles and other low carbon technologies," the report states.

If the smart grid is successfully deployed, it could ultimately save the EU 52 billion euros ever year by reducing losses of electricity during the distribution process.

"The smart grid will provide utilities with a new wealth of data intelligence and granular insight into customer usage patterns, into near real-time status of their distribution network and allow better planning of the conventional and renewable energy supply chains and optimisation of the network assets," said Bastian Fischer, vice president of industry strategy at Oracle Utilities, upon the release of the report.

However, the report also noted that a number of hurdles remain on the path toward full smart grid deployment, including lack of investment in consumer awareness and education and privacy and security issues.

According to Earth Techling, interoperability remains as one of the major challenges the smart grid faces. In order for utilities to fully utilize new technologies that have been developed for the smart grid, all systems must be able to communicate with each other. This would require a number of communication protocols that could be expanded across several platforms from different systems and manufacturers.

To confront these challenges, SUBNET Solutions Inc. has developed its Unified Grid Intelligence - an interoperability philosophy that runs the company's holistic approach to integrating intelligent utility systems in real-time, enabling more efficient substation management.

In response to the need for heightened cybersecurity among utilities, SUBNET also offers solutions that help generation, transmission and distribution companies meet the stringent requirements set by NERC CIP standards.  

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