Following the lead given by James Carson, I posted a comment under the SmartGrid.com featured article Smart Grid Stimulus Bill: DOE Snubs IOUs and Meters. This is what I wrote:
I find the above discussion a productive one, that was enabled by a well written and timely article. The main barrier to the smart grid is the obsolete IOUs Framework with demand as an externality and supply side power system planning, operation and control. That framework served very well its useful purpose up to close to 1970.
The IOUs Framework is based on the business model of winning rate cases to the regulator for energy and transportation (T&D) sales. That Framework should remain for transportation only as the IOT Framework. The Smart Grid should enable business model innovations under competition in the open market to develop and integrate the resources of the demand side to power system planning, operation, and control.
I have written extensively in the Electricity Without Price Controls (EWPC) Blog, which emerge as a holistic Framework to replace the IOUs Framework. Please go to www(dot)energyblogs(dot)com(slash)ewpc to see the articles and posts.
The EWPC Framework divides the complex emergent whole power industry in two parts, which is the simplest wait to do it. One part is the open market on the value chain generation, retail, prosumer (a consumer that may produce). The other part is the regulated transporter (the T&D smart grid). The transporter’s compact will give IOTs the responsibility to transport in exchange for reasonable tolls. Distribution in fact will become indistinct from transmission.
I believe that the small grant size is well thought out. Like IBM with the PC development, IOUs need to set up independent units if they want to be funded and to stay in the game.
While under the IOUs Framework isolation will win over interoperability, under the EWPC Framework interoperability is about business model innovations competition for the federal retail market, by what I term Second Generation Retailers (search my blog for 2GR). Isolation thus becomes a losing proposition. Financiers’ will recognize the environment similar to that of the computer industry.