600% Growth From This Emerging Technology…
We need to upgrade the power grid to the latest technology. Not only will this harden the infrastructure to deal better with natural disasters ranging from earthquakes to snowstorms, it will yield energy savings. Using less energy to deliver more power will, incidentally, reduce CO2 emissions as well as costs. Congress has recognized this and in 2007 passed an energy bill that addressed the need for modernization. The technology is called “smart grid,” and it brings real intelligence to power distribution.
Of course, considering the size of the electrical distribution network, these kinds of infrastructure upgrades and installations represent a huge investment. There are hundreds of billions of dollars to be made in the smart grid business both in the U.S. and abroad.
Toshiba projects the global smart grid to grow 600% over the next 10 years, to a total of $75.6 billion. Investors in the best smart grid companies will make fortunes. The adoption of smart grid technologies is being driven not by ideology, but by irresistible economic realities…
Since Edison and Tesla’s early breakthroughs in electrical distribution and generation, electricity has taken the burden off of human muscle power for household chores, granting us appliance-created leisure time. It has lit the dark of night with the flick of a switch. By powering global communications networks, it has lit our minds, as well. With a few keyboard inputs, we have access to more information than any previous generation in history.
For decades, the power grid grew rapidly. In 1940, more than 10% of U.S. energy consumption was distributed via the electrical grid. Today, more than 40% of U.S. energy consumption is supplied in this way. With advancing electric-automobile technology beginning to displace some of our petroleum use as a transportation fuel, the 40% figure will only continue to rise.
Our electrical distribution network, however, is a relic tracing its roots back to those early grid projects from a century ago. Despite increasing demand, the electrical grid still retains a design with roots from its early days. The vast majority of it still does not use the latest in information technologies to provide information to consumers, or to monitor itself and report to utilities.
In part because of its obsolete design, the reliability of our electrical grid is showing signs of deterioration in the face of increasing demand. The North American power grid is interconnected in such a way that a small technical or human error can cause widespread cascading failures.
Over the last 20 years, power outages have gone up more than 125%.
As one of the most complex systems ever built, our electrical grid has proven increasingly prone to failure from a variety of causes. Hotter- or colder-than-usual weather or trees falling across power lines have taken down service to millions of customers.
Smart grid deployments are picking up steam around the world and are entering the sharp bend in the technology adoption S-curve. Networked management of electrical use is necessary to intelligently and efficiently use and allocate scarce resources… and the timing is perfect to claim a stake in next-generation power grids.
Yours for transformational profits,
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