With a large number of technology, industry, government and other groups working in and around the modernization of the electric grid, there is a need to bring these perspectives together, to create alignment of ideas to a common goal. GridWeek's major objective is to do just that, by inviting all relevant initiatives to take part in a key event to drive grid modernization in the U.S.
Set a Common Agenda
With so many perspectives evolving between the differing groups, many of the complimentary and synergistic with each other, the landscape of the smart electric grid needs to clarify and simplify its agenda. A key objective of GridWeek is to do just this; to define a common set of core values that can be shared by all groups, and to leverage such values to drive awareness.
With the immense support of participating groups, and with the creation of a common agenda, GridWeek will provide a platform for increasing awareness of the possibilities and benefits of a smart modern electric grid. Held in Washington D.C., GridWeek intends to increase awareness in the political network, and to leverage such a platform to attract media and general visibility of the need of grid modernization.
Drive Enabling Changes
With the key stakeholders convened for a week in the nation's capital, GridWeek intends to encourage participants, sponsors, speakers and attendees to drive what ever change is necessary in thinking, policy, technology and other attributes to make the U.S. smart grid a reality.
The Seven Themes of GridWeek
While Smart Grid technologies and business models have been evolving in recent years, federal and state regulatory hurdlestoday stand in the way for broad adoption of smart grid in the U.S. This key conference theme within GridWeek aims to identify the hurdles, and by working with federal and state regulators, uncover policy changes that can be implemented to facilitate the adoption of smart grid in the U.S.
The North American electric system is composed of many businesses cooperating to deliver electricity to the end customer. Today’s technology offers the ability to exchange information to enhance operational and financial effectiveness beyond the automation in present use. The incentive to exchange information electronically is a result of system and business processes that span organizations such as scheduling and coordinating electric supply and demand, detecting and correcting system problems, or providing settlement and billing information to market participants.
Interoperability lies at the heart at solving these problems, and at GridWeek, a number of sessions will focus on understanding interoperation impediments for the advancement of integration techniques and standards that will further grid modernization.
As the technology and demand for a smart grid unfolds, suppliers of products, technologies and services will need to uncover the fundamental value proposition of this new system. The range of benefits includes; environmental, power system efficiencies, consumer services, security of power supply for the U.S. economy, and other broad societal benefits to be gained by all.
A number of GridWeek conference sessions will be focused on exploring these benefits, and lay out the ground work for a broad understanding of how a smart grid can be viewed as a key enabler of the 21st century U.S. economy.
As our progress toward a digital era, significant advances have been made in materials, micro-/nano-fabrication, broadband communications, information technology, and systems integration. Our increasing valuation of environmental and energy sustainability has led to achievement of parallel advances in renewables, energy storage, electric transportation, etc. Adaptation and adoption of these advances have been key to our continuing progress toward grid modernization and will be the focus of the Technology sessions.
The Technology sessions will help envision what the grid of the future is and encompass the modernization efforts, ongoing and planned, to get there. They will feature leaders, from electric utilities in one and from technology suppliers in another, to provide their respective perspectives about what technologies are needed, what technologies are (will become) available, and the value of these technologies from their enabling functions.
As as$250b industry, the financial impact of grid modernization cannot be under estimated. From changes in business models, to the financial picture of investments in this growing sector and impact to the supplier and demand side, a modern grid is unlikely to have the same fincnial picture as the existing century old financial models.
The financial sessions at the GridWeek conference will explo many aspects of the fincnial landscape surrounding the grid modernization process. This subject will be at the core of many attendee's expectations at GridWeek.
During the past years, many groups and companies have implemented many aspects of a smart grid, from smart metering applications to innovative demand management products and systems, to experiments in pricing models. In order to bring these stories to light, a significant amount of time at GridWeek will be allocated to tell these stories, learn from the experiences and bring to the audience the sense of the possible.
One key session at GridWeek will be the Show & Tell Reception set to be held on the hill, and to attract members of congress and their staff to learn about the huge impact that current technologies can bring to bear.
Future - New Paradigms
While most of the focus of GridWeek will be in the immediately useful applications of technology, it is clear that we are living at a time when significant new technologies are about to materialize. From hydrogen power, to hybrid, new ways of generating sustainable power and techniques to distribute and store electrical energy more effectively. While GridWeek will not delve deep into these areas, GridWeek delegates can expect to hear about how these new paradigms are likely to impact the grid, and how their evolution needs to be considered as the grid modernization story unfolds.