Energy is at the heart of most of the things we do – so the radical process of change that our energy systems are undergoing concerns us all in one way or another. It is a change that goes far beyond solar panels and smart meters. Completely new market models are being created – and things are starting to move really fast. This issue’s theme takes a closer look at the challenges that utility companies face as they press ahead with smart-grid initiatives, adding sophisticated communications networks to the transmission and distribution power grid. And as yet another industry reinvents itself through ICT, this is by no means just a technological challenge. It involves the ability to connect really closely to consumers’ needs and behaviors – as well as to socioeconomic and environmental goals.
The key lies in connecting generation and consumption in a much smarter way.
The transformation of our energy systems will create completely new market models.
In an age of technological convergence we need different regulatory approaches.
Connected smartly, hybrid cars can also deliver electric power.
The hybrid grid is part power, part communications, working together.
We are seeing use in other utilities, gas is one.