Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) recently announced that they are backing the OASIS Energy Interoperation Technical Committee to enable collaborative and dynamic use of energy. The goal is to develop web service-based information and communication models for exchanging dynamic pricing, reliability and emergency signals building upon open standards (see article).
Developing and implementing dynamic pricing is essential to meet the needs for lower carbon and energy buildings, according to David Holmberg of NIST who co-chairs the new committee. In turn, standards are needed to support the communication of pricing, grid capacity and other information for it to be secure and transparent.
Cisco’s ambition is to base SmartGrid development upon many of their existing products and the goal is to provide an “end-to-end” solution covering all aspects of involved communication (read Cisco´s strategy). Thus it is set out to provide hardware, software and applications needed to implement the new grid.
However, Cisco is far from being the only large player in this emerging market. Other major companies such as IBM and Intel are lining up SmartGrid initiatives hoping to grab a portion of the US$ 20 billion estimated yearly value of the market (see this article).
Since the very concept of a SmartGrid is still young, a lot of technological development is to be expected. Collaboration between large actors will most likely prove useful for securing the successful deployment of digital transfer of energy information.
It remains to be seen how Europe will react and respond to this (American) initiative.