Smart grid: What’s here, what’s needed, and what you should know now

Let’s define the smart grid as the infrastructure and technologies that enable integration of the consumer and distributed resources (generation, renewables, storage, demand response, load control) with the operation of the entire grid and electricity markets, while also improving the reliability and Security of the overall electric service. The biggest gap is the lack of inexpensive, standardized, and ubiquitous communications that deliver bandwidth, extreme reliability, and security for both control and management applications as well as basic information management and sharing applications. This broadband communications infrastructure does not need to be one technology, but it needs to extend all the way from central control systems to end-user devices.

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