Australia may be considered a leader in developing a trans-sector grid through the implementation of the National Broadband Network (NBN).
The impact that a shift in trans-sector development will have for Australia is being closely watched and will be discussed by top utility companies across Australia at the Next Generation Utilities Australia Summit 2010.
The belief that by linking smart grids with other network services like e-health, educations and entertainment, the notion that the long-term goals of the country’s power grid can be better met are being closely followed by industry leaders such as Terry Effeney, CEO at Energex, Ian McLeod, CEO at Ergon Energy, Jim Mitchell, MD at Synergy, Peter Birk , CTO of Energy Australia, and Michael Lysaght, GM Intelligent Networks and Innovation at Country Energy.
Smart Grid technologies are concepts that are held dear to utility companies across the globe, when creating functional infrastructures for the transmission of user data. Smart grid development is also fraught with challenges from aging equipment and workforce to inter-state jurisdictions and other legal hurdles.
One commonality that is transparent through IT or operational differences is the need for Energy Management Systems. Reducing energy consumption, improving the utilization of the system, increasing reliability, predicting electrical system performance and monitoring, and optimising the performance of generation and transmission systems are areas that have been highlighted as the focal point for the Utilities sector to provide quality service to their customers. These are areas that can be lessons learned when developing new and effective trans-sector environments.
Technologies have been working very well with the ability to provide energy cheaply and efficiently. Strong network management in the grid is important to providing quick response times to outages and notifications, and decreasing complaints but also allows for continually assessing the power delivery of the distribution system. These are additional areas that require utilities corporations to be major players in developing functional trans-sector infrastructure.