This story was originally posted in the Energy Blog.
Over the past three days leaders from across industry and government have gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss how they can work together to develop a smart grid from coast to coast. The forum has given rise to several important developments. During his remarks this morning, Secretary Chu announced an investment of more than $30 million for ten projects (PDF 112 KB) that will address cybersecurity issues facing the nation's electric grid. The projects seek to reduce cybersecurity threats primarily through research and development of innovative cybersecurity solutions and the establishment of the National Electric Sector Cybersecurity Organization.
"These awards help us make a significant leap forward to strengthen the security and reliability of the nation's electric grid, in a climate of increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks," said Secretary Chu. "The development of technologies that can provide defense-in-depth cybersecurity solutions and increased insight from private-public collaborations will allow us to better protect the nation's energy delivery systems that keep our lights on and the power flowing."
As part of the forum, the Department also released the findings of new research on the current state of the smart grid industry. The 2010 U.S. Smart Grid Vendor Ecosystem Report (PDF 3.4 MB) provides insight into spending patterns and market share within the smart grid sector. It also draws attention to a number of emerging industry dynamics shaping the future of the smart grid ecosystem, information that is extremely valuable to researchers and industry figures who are trying evaluate the roll out of smart grid thus far and plan for future efforts.
Pat Hoffman, Assistant Secretary for Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, also announced some steps that her office is taking to confront the challenges of building asmart grid and integrating renewables like wind and solar onto the grid. To help address these issues, Secretary Chu has re-established the Electricity Advisory Committee, a collection of 27 subject matter experts who will provide insightful input into the policies and programs of the Office of Electricity.
The Office of Electricity also announced that they have issued a Request For Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders on the policy and logistical challenges that confront smart grid implementation. Responses to this RFI will also help inform the Administration’s analysis of policy challenges and possible solutions being developed by the Smart Grid Subcommittee of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Technology. You can find complete details on the RFI and information on how to submit your thoughts here (PDF 75 KB).
Together these steps will help us develop a smarter, more secure grid that can support the energy innovations of the future.
John Schueler is a New Media Specialist in the Office of Public Affairs.