Smart grid: Unnecessary, or necessary evil?

Regulations, privacy and security concerns, and other issues could hold back developments.

07/20/2009


 

According to a story by

Kevin Bullis at the MIT Technology Review , a smarter electricity

grid could fundamentally change the way people pay for and manage their

electricity use. In theory, the technology could help reduce demand, save

money, and improve reliability and efficiency.

But implementing the

necessary changes will be difficult, according to experts attending a symposium

on the smart grid at GE Global Research in Niskayuna, N.Y.,

this week. They expect resistance from regulators and consumers alike, citing

the complexity of the proposed system as well as concerns about privacy and

security.

The smart grid will

incorporate new networking technology, including sensors and controls that make

it possible to monitor electricity use in real time and make automatic changes

that reduce energy waste. Furthermore, grid operators should be able to

instantly detect problems that could lead to cascading outages, like the ones

that cut power to the northeastern United States in 2003. And the

technology ought to allow energy companies to incorporate more intermittent,

renewable sources of electricity, such as wind turbines, by keeping the grid

stable in the face of minute-by-minute changes in output.

In a story by Stacy Morford

at SolveClimate ,

developing a national smart grid is such a high priority for the Obama administration

that regulators plan to let power providers who pioneer the technology pass

their costs on to their customers-before national standards are approved and

before analysts have determined the most cost-effective technologies.

The Federal Energy Regulatory

Commission adopted its official Smart Grid Policy on July 16,

setting priorities for the grid's development that emphasize such areas as

cybersecurity, dynamic pricing, and the need for technology that can facilitate

off-peak charging for electric vehicles.

Experts at the Gerson

Lehrman Group have written an opinion piece entitled " Smart Grid is the Scam of

the Century ."

In it, they discuss that the Smart Grid is a Trojan Horse Big

Brother that wants to get into your home or business under the disguise of

being green.

Author Kevin

Bullis at MIT Technology Review also wrote an article titled "A Costly and

Unnecessary New Electricity Grid."

In it, he says a national

interstate system for distributing power may prove an expensive boondoggle.





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2015 Top Plant: Phoenix Contact, Middletown, Pa.; 2015 Best Practices: Automation, Electrical Safety, Electrical Systems, Pneumatics, Material Handling, Mechanical Systems
A cool solution: Collaboration, chemistry leads to foundry coat product development; See the 2015 Product of the Year Finalists
Raising the standard: What's new with NFPA 70E; A global view of manufacturing; Maintenance data; Fit bearings properly
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Cyber security cost-efficient for industrial control systems; Extracting full value from operational data; Managing cyber security risks
Drilling for Big Data: Managing the flow of information; Big data drilldown series: Challenge and opportunity; OT to IT: Creating a circle of improvement; Industry loses best workers, again
Migrating industrial networks; Tracking HMI advances; Making the right automation changes
Understanding transfer switch operation; Coordinating protective devices; Analyzing NEC 2014 changes; Cooling data centers
Upgrading secondary control systems; Keeping enclosures conditioned; Diagnostics increase equipment uptime; Mechatronics simplifies machine design

Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.