lunes, marzo 21, 2016

Does ElectriNet(SM) Provides an "Walled Garden"?

Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio | May 17, 2010

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Smart Grid Trends: Deja Vu All Over Again? Advice on how to avoid becoming the next CompuServe is a timely article written by John Steinberg is the CEO of EcoFactor. Last year, it won the national grand prize at the Cleantech Open. He speaks this week at The Networked Grid. Next is a post I added under his article.
Thank you Mr. Steinberg,
 
You have written an excellent post.  Just like the post I added under the Greentech Media article “How EVs Will Save the Smart Grid,” which I quote below and that can be read at the Internet address, your article is in synchronicity with the emerging Electricity Without Price Control Architecture Framework (EWPC-AF). The EWPC-AF is described in the Internet link.
 
I complement your post on how to open the power industry to innovations to minimize the huge value destruction in the making. I have been reading about the service mark ElectriNet of EPRI and I guess it may be one clear example of the "the walled gardens," you mentioned.
 
Why EPRI? According to Greentech Media Eric Wesoff’s company profile, of February 23rd, 2010, “EPRI is funded largely by utilities, primarily to do development in the short term (less than 5 year timeframe), but their Technology Innovation (TI) program works on longer-term opportunities (5 to 20 years).”
 
My interest in ElectricNet (SM) arose after reading a paper by Clark W. Gellings, a highly respected fellow at EPRI, in the in Spring 2010 issue of "The Bridge," a quarterly publication of the equally highly respected National Academy of Engineering, which is centered on the ElectricNet as an architecture for managing the power grid of the future. The "walled garden" is enabled with a series of incremental extensions of the century old and obsolete Investor Owned Utilities Architecture Framework (IOUs-AF), like (1) the homogeneous smart grid, (2) ElectricNet, and according to the paper the emerging (3) "Dynamic Energy Management."
 
In the story I wrote in “How EVs Will Save the Smart Grid,” I am able to identify the “walled garden” in the IOUs-AF incremental extensions. “The integral solution is about effectiveness. The piecemeal smart meter efficiency solution for the utilities is getting in the way of the long term solution for the whole society. Behind the scenes of the story is an obsolete business model of utilities winning rate cases to a regulator, which is bound to be replaced by business model innovations – the Next Big Thing.
 
This is the summary of my review adapted to your article. In order to tear down the "walled gardens," the EWPC-AF is designed for leading the whole power industry into the future. For another public detail available in the EWPC Blog (which has more than 200 posts at the time), please take a look at the EWPC article “State Governments Need to Unleash the Benefits of the Next Big Thing,” at the Internet address. 
 
Good luck this week at The Networked Grid

Comments

In response to several comments posted on the original article, specially one about Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS), I added another comment in support of said article, that says:

I agree on KISS, because it is the way to face complexity. However, KISS needs to be applied to the whole power industry, no just the parts. In fact, KISS needs to be applied with the knowledge that "... technology is the easy part to change. The difficult aspects are social, organizational, and cultural." Donald Norman, "The Invisible Computer," Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press 1988.

As you can see by hitting above the link of the EWPC-AF, the wisdom of KISS applies by dividing the complexity of the emergent power industry in a primary delivery system and a secondary commercial system to support an energy policy act. While the primary system follows the rules of the delivery of electricity, the secondary one is open to commercial innovations similar to those of the Internet. While I agree that "[t]he Internet, the growing importance of the user experience, and the entrance of large tech companies should all be seen as good omens for the future of the smart grid," the man with the hammer needs to be very careful at the loosely coupled interface between the two systems.

There is also in the Spring 2010 issue of "The Bridge," the quarterly publication I mentioned above, the paper "The Smart Grid: A Bridge between Emerging Technologies, Society, and the Environment," by Richard E. Schuler, Ph.D., P.E., Graduate School Professor of Economics and of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Cornell University and a board member of the New York Independent System Operator. In his paper, Dr, Schuler describes:

"... a bridging mechanism that will link technology, engineered support networks, the biosphere, and human society. The energy network, which starts with the smart grid, will be dynamic and will continue to evolve. Whether it will eventually work through large-scale centralized or small decentralized loosely coupled systems will depend on future developments and the paths that are chosen. Whatever those paths may be, they will reflect human creativity in ways that were not possible before."

The only objection I have on Dr. Schuler's paper is that the process needs to start applying KISS to restructure the power industry, not with the smart grid. As can be seen post I added under the article "How EVs Will Save the Smart Grid," I am against a homogeneous smart grid and thus for a heterogeneous one that applies a KISS customer choice.

While the EWPC-AF is neutral on either path, ElectriNet is biased to work through large-scale centralized. That is why I agree that in the commercial system of the power industry we are witnessing a Déjà vu again. It is a pity the huge value destruction in the making to insist in "walled gardens" to extend well beyond the useful life of the IOUs-AF.
Jose Antonio Vanderhorst-Silverio

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