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Utility CEOs agree: A smarter grid is crucial

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Wednesday, November 14, 2012

At the recent Electronica exhibition in Munich, Germany, a panel of utility and vendor CEOs from all over the world discussed the importance of smart grid technologies, and how companies can overcome the inherent challenges of overhauling outdated equipment to create a more reliable and efficient energy distribution system.

According to Electrical Engineering Times, the discussion - which was meant to cover a wide range of utility industry topics - was dominated by talk of the smart grid. All four attending CEOs gave vigorous nods when the crowds asked if the smart grid did indeed have the remarkable potential to revolutionize energy distribution. The leaders said as more smart grid technologies are deployed, the number of semiconductors and other crucial smart grid components that are sold around the world will likely take off.

By installing intelligence into existing grid systems, the CEOs said, utilities will see unparalleled efficiency in distribution, new ways to deal with peak demand and better infrastructure that can support multi directional grid communication.

The media outlet reported that Reinhard Ploss, CEO of Infineon Technologies, stated that grid improvements will be more about reaching a new level of efficiency, as opposed to defending against severe declines and setbacks if infrastructure is not tended to.

"The grid is not in bad condition but we must ask how can we use it better? Moving from ac to dc transmission, getting rid of reactive power consumption, would help," he said. "Using high-voltage dc transmission you could push energy transport up by a factor of two."

One of the largest - and most profitable - markets in the smart grid industry will be sensors and other intelligent electronic devices, which will help utilities better monitor grid operations, malfunctions and interruptions.  STMicroelectronics CEO Carlo Bozotti pointed to the U.S. market as evidence of the huge financial gains that utilities and vendors could see with the proliferation of smart grid technologies, considering power outages in the U.S. cost the economy roughly $150 billion every year.

SUBNET is helping support smart grid deployment all over the country by offering several products that help utilities increase their operational efficiency by huge margins. SUBNET's solutions allow utilities to easily connect with thousands of IEDs installed across their entire enterprise, and leverage data from these devices to identify problematic areas and parts of the grid that are performing the best.

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