It seems new smart technologies emerge by the day: smart plug-in cars, smart dishwashers, smart coffeemakers… The future will be Green, no doubt about it! For all the praises I have for the engineers and scientists that make it happen, I believe that this is the easy part of making the power grid smart. Implementation of the transformation will be the hard one.
Scale is an obvious challenge. Developed countries’ power grids have been built all along the 20th century, requiring titanic levels of investments. Upgrades, retrofits and greenfield additions will require a comparable level of efforts. And time. Lots of it. For utilities, short term means 5 years. For my generation of impatient go-getters, used to have everything a click away, grasping this relation to time is a challenge.