To begin the New Year, based on the articles that appeared in this newsletter during 2013, your editor has put on his wizard’s hat and picked the top five trends in the smart grid arena to watch for in 2014.
- Smart meter roll-outs will continue worldwide. It’s predicted that 100 million will be installed in 2014, another step on the path leading to a total of one billion installations completed by 2022. Europe continues to lead since their governments mandate installations, but the U.S. and China are both pushing forward.
- Managed services, also called subscription-based services or software-as-a-service (SaaS), will increase. A vendor, not the utility, runs the computer systems necessary to provide the services. The utility only supplies the data. Players to watch: GE, Schneider Electric.
- Demand response activity will increase, not just for the traditional industrial customers, but commercial and even residential customers, as every customer becomes enabled by the smart grid.
- Both new back office systems and front office systems, such as customer information systems (CIS), will be installed to leverage smart grid data. Key in on such terms as “Big Data” and “data analytics”.
- Security systems for the smart grid will improve, not just to prevent cyber attacks, but to address the privacy concerns of the average customer.
The coming year will show the smart grid continuing to become smarter.