A network larger than the internet? Can it realistically be achieved? Yes, Absolutely! — With Smart Grid. That’s according to Cisco‘s chief technology officer for the emerging-technologies, Guido Jouret.
what exactly is smart grid and why is it important?
In one respect, smart grid can be thought of as a two-way network where power and information flow in both directions between the utility and the customer, not just from the provider to the consumer. In another, it can be thought of as a solution to Africa’s energy crisis, (though it will take quite sometime before it gets implemented in Africa .)
If implemented properly , smart grid will be able to cut energy bills (great for South Africa’s 25% annual energy price hike), reduce consumption, give users more control in the kinds of energy they use, and more importantly let consumers produce their own energy and sell it back to power providers. (A bottom-up approach, in stead of a traditional top-down approach)
why is it important?
Its important because its the best of both worlds. In essence, its a consolidation of the information and telecommunications technology with the energy infrastructure to create a smart grid, ultimately leading to a network that’s even larger than the internet. Something that the energy community foresee as the ultimate future. A one that will be worth more than 20Billion dollars by 2015. For startups, this is more than a dream coming true , because Cisco is investing heavily in smart grid startups.
Below , I found a short (4 minutes) video that gives a comprehensive analysis of Smat Grid technology — Enjoy.