For years, the concept of the smart grid has promised to solve our largest energy related problems, but after years of work the smart grid doesn’t seem to be moving forward at nearly the pace we once expected. We think there are 3 core problems that are holding the smart grid back.
- Lackluster Consumer Adoption – Consumers are very uncertain about the smart grid. No one knows exactly what it means for them. Will their utility bill actually go down? Will smart meters give too much control to the utility company? Are their privacy issues? Will people be able to tell when my home is empty because of energy usage data? All of these questions are keeping consumers from driving the smart grid forward.
- Is it Secure? – Local, state and even the federal government is slowing down adoption of the smart grid due to security concerns. This is a valid concern. We do not want to open up our electric grid system to terrorist activity, but in order to move forward we must also be willing to take risks.
- Grid Standards – Every smart grid technology company has an incentive to use their own closed system, closed technology to create the smart grid. Every company hopes that they will gain a foothold in the market, and make it nearly impossible for customers to leave if their system is closed. If they use open standards it would be much easier to jump from one provider to the next, so until companies agree to work with open standards there will be constant compatibility issues that slow the adoption of Smart Grid Technologies.