Building a smarter grid
The electric power infrastructure – or "grid" – in nations around the world is rapidly running up against its limitations. These aging systems just weren't designed to handle the skyrocketing energy demands of today's digital economy. There have been three massive blackouts in the US in the last nine years – costing billions in economic losses – and more blackouts and brownouts are occurring due to slow response times and a lack of automated analytics.
In response, the electric industry is poised for change. Their vision is for a "smart grid" that will:
Powering the smart grid: analytics
Utilities will be flooded with complex data at volumes far greater than their current systems can handle. But if they employ the right data management, integration and advanced analytics, they'll be able to harness that data for pinpoint control and monitoring, usage and demand forecasting, rapid diagnosis and repair, as well as predicting output from renewable sources, such as solar and wind. In short, they'll realize the smart grid vision.
This story appears in the First Quarter 2011 issue of