There’s some good stuff coming out of the GridWise Gloabl Forum, particularly insight from some of the larger vendors. IBM’s chief Sam Palmisano says IBM is taking its own reigns and pushing standards and getting others involved around the smart grid supply chain. Just as important, was Palmisano’s declaration that everyone needs to take the initiative, regardless of how policy and markets are being shaped.
“Palmisano said that making the energy system smarter is in everyone’s interest because it addresses the economy, geopolitical issues related to energy, and global climate change. People in industry do not need to wait for the government or other top-down directives to get started, he said.”
One of the other notable comments was Palmisano’s opposition to consumer ‘dashboards’ – commonly mentioned as a web-based way for utility customers to easily view energy consumption.
That could be taken a couple of ways. One, it’s right in line with the piecemeal approach that IBM criticizes. Some of us early adopters might salivate at all that data at our fingertips, but most people have enough real life and virtual dashboards already, so thinking that’s a silver bullet is pretty naive.
Ultimately, providers will have to render data and usage around the way all of us realistically use data and information, probably starting with bits and pieces online (next to our statements) and on mobile devices.
Anything relegated as another online silo and not incorporated around larger usage patterns will die on the vine. Unfortunately in my experience, utility companies don’t do a very good job at things like bill presentment and online customer service. Clearly, those are some of the things that get companies like Big Blue excited.
Let’s hope others join Big Green, um, Big Blue.