Greentech Media asks, Will Utilities or Customers Lead in Smart Grid?

Michael Giberson

Greentech Media has an interesting short article asking whether utilities or customers will take the lead in smart grid deployment. They suggest the answer is “a little of both.”

Venture capitalist Gerd Goette says that investors do worry about getting out ahead of utilities when pursuing projects. A smart-grid component that can’t communicate with the local electric utility will be much less valuable than one that can, but utilities may not have selection of communication standards as among their priorities.

And there’s another issue to be overcome, he added – determining how utilities manage the data they will collect as a result.

“As long as the utilities hold onto that data and don’t share it with everybody, we’re very constrained on what we can do, unless we want to spend a lot of money,” Gerd noted – a stance that’s held by many players in the smart grid field, including recent entrant Google (see Google Gets Into Home Energy Management). [Link in original.]