NIST - Final report Strategic R&D opportunities for the Smart Grid
The smart grid has enormous potential to modernize and transform our electricity system, producing positive impacts on the economy, the environment, energy security, and many aspects of everyday life. Realizing the potential of the smart grid requires new technologies, measurement science, standards, and even new market paradigms. Collaborative efforts of multiple stakeholders are also essential to these efforts. The result will be planning and operations that take full advantage of smart grid capabilities.
The smart grid will rely heavily on a central computational system that is tightly linked and coordinated with components in the physical world. Achieving this system requires advances in systems science and engineering that will enable effective design as well as improvements to communication and networking infrastructure. Multidisciplinary R&D efforts will encompass computer science, mathematics, statistics, engineering, and a full spectrum of physical sciences—even extending into ethics, psychology, and a broad array of human factors.
This report is a call to action. Progress has been made, but there are many challenges ahead. Overcoming these challenges creates exciting opportunities to ensure that the United States is a leader in the design, development, and adoption of a smart grid. The benefits to the nation from a modernized grid will be immense. Significant opportunities outlined in this call to action include the following:
  • Optimize smart grid capabilities for system planning and operations—essential for utilizing the capabilities of the smart grid to streamline and improve the efficiency of generation, transmission, and distribution.
  • Develop smart tools and technologies to utilize DR, load control, and EE—key to the greater and more efficient use of alternative sources of energy and balancing the ebb and flow of power on the grid.
  • Expand and upgrade infrastructure to improve communications and interconnectivity—makes possible real-time monitoring and scheduling of electricity, collection and dissemination of massive amounts of data, and pervasive networking of multiple components.
  • Develop infrastructure to assure security and resilience—secures the grid against cyber and physical attacks, while ensuring the protection of information.
  • Create models to foster smart grid investment and inform regulatory frameworks—essential for spurring future investment, understanding the costs and benefits of the smart grid, and creating effective regulations.
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