What specific sources of power we use tomorrow and in what proportions is anyone's guess but what is certain is in order to take advantage of the various sources available we will have to develop a better electrical grid. We know it needs upgrading and for now, the term applied to what some might call power grid 2.0 is smart grid.
The tech and communications space should be eyeing the power industry with great interest as it is so similar to telecom in many ways where ownership of the wires resided with a small group of companies and over time a plethora of networks began to peer with one another to interchange information.
The network opened and the grid will likely do the same. But remember please don't touch the live wires. ;)
As the grid gets smarter we will see power generation from users combined with generation from wind farms and geothermal locations and solar farms all generating power which will be used by a variety of customers.
The concept of p2p power generation should seem logical as some customers deploy solar cells which produce more power than they may use. What a great feeling it should be to help power your entire neighborhood while getting paid or at least credited in the process.
I truly believe that as the smart grid world evolves we will see more standardized protocols, gateways and products which interact intelligently and for lack of a better world - communicate.
And therein lays the logic in combining a Smart Grid Summit at ITEXPO - the World's Communications Conference.
I truly believe we will see convergence before the two markets and I suggest you keep an eye on the space and attend the show. After all, $57 million has already been targeted by the US government to grow this space. Now is the best time to learn more.
Check out TMC's Smart Grid News site for more information on the topic and be sure to register for the Smart Grid Summit which is being sponsored by TMC and Intelligent Communications Partners a company backed by veteran communications entrepreneur Shidan Gouran (blog) and IP communications thought leader and analyst Jon Arnold (Jon's articles) (Jon's take).
Again, this event is collocated with ITEXPO September 1-3, 2009 in Los Angeles so make plans to be there the whole time and you can register for the Smart Grid Summit onsite or online as the registration page is being developed now. The event will likely be one day of ITEXPO and which day is being determined.