The sheer size of the smart grid market should be enough to get the attention of everybody in the IT and telecom worlds. Throw in the idea that it is a rare opportunity to do something truly good, and the deal should be sealed in terms of getting folks on board and excited.
ABI Research released a study this week that says the market will approach $46 billion by 2015. The size of the job is that huge partly because the starting point is an infrastructure that, according to ABI, is in places 60 to 80 years old. The release says the bulk of the investment through the period of the study -- $41 billion-will be in transmission and distribution, while $4.8 billion will be spent on smart meters.
The great promise of the smart grid has been known for a while. Anything with a perceived value north of $40 billion is bound to be unwieldy, cumbersome and complex. Those who want to tap into the massive market need to work hard to know precisely what is going on.
Knowledge, as the statue featured in the movie Animal House pointed out, is good. ZDNet points to three places to get information.The post says the GridWise Alliance has launched the beta of the Smart Grid Information Clearinghouse, which will be updated with information from Virginia Tech and The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers on technical and legislative initiatives and projects around the globe. Heather Clancy also points to smartgrid.gov from the Federal Smart Grid Task Force and the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative as potentially helpful information sources.
There is a tremendous amount of solid information available on smart grid from a number of other places. Leading sites include Smart Grid News, the Smart Grid Library from GreenSpring Marketing, the California Public Utilities Commission-The Golden State always leads on environmentally related issues-the IEEE Smart Grid, Voove's smartmeters and the site promoting the Smart Grid RoadShow, a conference that will be held in Portland, Ore., in November.
Clearly, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are other sites, including those from vendors and service providers, that provide good information. The challenge of a topic this big is finding information that is timely, accurate and focuses precisely on the subject of interest to the researcher. These sites are a good place to start.