We’ve heard a whole lot of talk recently about the coming smart grid, that intelligent re-thinking of our current electricity grid that will help us all to cut the carbon footprint associated with our day-to-day lives. According to ABI Research, all that talk represents real money, as their recent study forecasts that investment in the worldwide smart grid will approach $46 billion by 2015.
This technology research report states that while the groundwork for smart grids has been laid in a number of countries in recent years, the pace of investment and implementation of an energy generation, transmission and distribution system equipped with an advanced two-way communications system is increasing. That two-way system is the key to greater visibility, control, and automation over the system for the utility operator, according to a statement from ABI, because it allows for the real-time monitoring of the current state of the network, as well as the ability to respond to those conditions as quickly as possible.
“Most of the electric utility infrastructure deployed in the industrialized world was built between 60 and 80 years ago,” said Larry Fisher, research director of NextGen, the ABI Research unit that published the study, in a statement. “Much of this infrastructure is outdated, and with the continuing increase in demand for power year after year, the grid cannot safely and reliably manage the loads of today and tomorrow without significant upgrades.”