Microsoft Survey: Utilities Still Slow to Buy Into the Smart Grid

By Camille Ricketts in the New York Times, March 11 2010

Utilities around the world are still struggling to understand and implement new technology needed to make electrical grids cleaner and more efficient. Only 8 percent of them worldwide have finished rolling out smart meters and other equipment under the banner of “Smart Grid,” according to new survey data collected by Microsoft.

Completed Smart Grid deployments might not be the best metric, but data showing that only 37 percent of utilities are working on relevant projects, and that more than half have done nothing to transition their operations, indicates that we here in the U.S. think the Smart Grid is being adopted much faster than it actually is.

Microsoft interviewed about 200 utility professionals from around the globe to get these results. Many of them noted high barriers to entry when it comes to rolling out smart meters and making transmission systems more efficient. They cited financial and regulatory challenges in particular as major roadblocks.

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