Vint Cerf: Smart Grid Has to Be Distributed, Voluntary, Collaborative

Here’s a seemingly obvious but strangely overlooked mantra for the smart grid: Much like the Internet, for the smart grid to work, it will have to be distributed, collaborative and voluntary, says “Father of the Internet,” Vint Cerf in this video. The clip is from a speech he made at a conference earlier this year. A smart grid network, Cerf said, will be highly dependent on “people’s willingness to connect in this way,” and “this is not going to be something that can be forced on anyone no matter how hard we try.”

That sentiment is at the heart of the consumer backlash over smart meters in certain locations, and many consumers just don’t know what the benefits are to connecting with the smart grid. As Cerf says, there need to be reasons why appliances makers, consumers, utilities and vendors want to connect over the network.

At the end of the day the smart grid is about extracting and sharing information in the best way possible to manage resources, points out Cerf. And he sees the smart grid as just the beginning for managing resources with networks, and expects digital networks to eventually manage water, oil and gas.

Check out both of these video clips on the lessons learned from the Internet for the smart grid — a really good watch for anyone who ponders what kind of architecture the smart grid should have! (via WiredVanity)

For more research on smart grid technology check out GigaOM Pro (subscription required):

Biggest Opportunities in the Smart Grid

Report: An Open Source Smart Grid Primer


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