Making the switch: Navigating the smart grid transition

Power grids worldwide are under pressure from a more volatile climate, growing demand for renewable energy, and rising urbanization. Existing grid networks are vulnerable to extreme weather events and cyber-attacks, with power outages in the US alone costing businesses around $150 billion a year. Traditional grid technology holds back the integration of distributed energy sources and restricts consumer energy contributions. With the global population expected to increase by 2.5 billion people by 2050 – two-thirds of whom are expected to live in urban areas – energy demand will only increase the load on existing infrastructure. Furthermore, as nations and businesses look to bolster energy security in light of the turmoil wrought by the Russia-Ukraine crisis, it is even more imperative to explore ways to build for a more efficient, resilient, and sustainable future.  

Making the Switch: Navigating the Smart Grid Transition report discusses how innovative combinations of advanced technologies will accelerate innovation towards a "Smart Grid 2.0" that can address these legacy operational challenges and create commercial opportunities across the energy sector (see Exhibit below).

Technology convergence opportunities across the smart grid
Novel combinations of advanced technologies such as 5G, AI/ML, IoT, etc. create opportunities to improve efficiency, increase resilience, and enhance sustainability in the grid.
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This report also explores ways in which existing energy grids can benefit from smart technologies and provides practical guidance for overcoming challenges as energy system players navigate this transition. Smart grid initiatives should be evaluated in terms of the efficiencies they offer and their potential to create new revenue streams. The way forward will also require technology adopters to plan carefully and time investments, mitigate execution risks, and engage effectively with the broader energy community.

Making the switch: Navigating the smart grid transition