“In my opinion, there is too much hype about the Smart Grid without looking at the core problems from an engineering and business point of view. There is a constant flow of information, presentations, and discussions about the Smart Grid, but I wonder if this simply makes people feel good and avoids facing the real issues. Even politicians are rallying around Smart Grid buzzwords; I call this kind of discussion ‘cocktail party technology talk.’ There is no doubt electrical energy can be managed better, and the Smart Grid concepts will provide more data and can be used to control the flow of energy from generation to users. This does not address the heart of the issue.
“The inescapable fact is the demand for electricity is going to be larger than generation capacity in place today, requiring some real planning to avoid problems. At the highest level, there are only two key factors concerning the electrical energy problem namely, demand and supply. The amount of growing demand for power relative to the supply available is a serious problem. The economic slowdown has moderated demand, but this will change as growth returns. Ultimately, there are only two ways to meet future growing energy requirements—increase generation capacity and lower consumption.”