What the Smart Grid Can Learn From the Internet


[qi:_earth2tech] The success of the future smart grid depends on using the wealth of knowledge created from building out the Internet. Ethernet inventor Bob Metcalfe thinks we should study its lessons and apply them carefully, as does Capgemini’s Balaji Natarajan, who’s penned this handy list in A Dozen Things the Smart Grid Can Learn from the Internet.

Among the lessons Natarajan thinks we need to take to heart are making sure the power grid, like the Internet, is similarly based upon a scalable, service-driven model; that open APIs should be regularly published; and that the smart grid needs to find a consumer-focused killer app in order to clearly show its value proposition. Are we overshooting the case? The argument has been made before, with critics saying that the power industry is a whole different beast than moving information, with different regulation, applications and demands. But any similarities will make it easier for IT entrepreneurs to develop new innovations. What do you think?


Chano Gomez

Reusing TCP/IP technology in the new Smart Grid is critical to ensure that we have a healthy ecosystem of vendors competing for the market and that utilities and consumers are not locked with proprietary control systems.

Even if security is a key concern, the IETF has developed a good set of protocols that provide good security if properly deployed. With security protocols correctly implemented, having open APIs should not be a problem.

For an example of how to bring TCP/IP technology to the Smart Grid, see http://blog.ds2.es/ds2blog/2009/04/bringing-ip-technology-to-the-smart-grid.html

Mark - Web HVAC

They just introduced the smart grid here in Charlotte NC. At this point, its only available to a small subset of residents and the rest have to wait several years to see if it will work for them. It sounds to me like there is a good middle-market in here for a third party to provide a snap-in for home use, to allow consumers to monitor their own power usage, and simply post the data to the web.


Richard Farleigh

Not too sure about open APIs.. security is a big concern with these infrastructures.

Comments are closed.