Smart Home, Smart Grid, Smart City

The smart grid field is moving fast. What appears to be happening is that plans are firming up globally: forecasts are becoming more optimistic; and the track record where it has been possible to provide new technology is patchy (e.g. in the area of electric vehicles, many planned launches have not happened, not happened on time, or fallen short of expectations).

Features and benefits

* Understand the scale of forecasts for smart grid and associated technology.

* Identify where much of the real spending is being carried out now.

* Focus on the extent to which some of this spending is NOT happening: is, at present, mostly planned and forecast

* Identify some of the key traps that business thinking can fall into over smart grid investment.

* Achieve insights into alternative strategic approaches in respect of smart grid investment.


In 2010/11, smart grid technology moved significantly from the realms of theory to reality. That move has been accompanied by two parallel trends: a ‘standard narrative’ setting out how the future is likely to evolve; substantial forecasts for categories of technology that do not yet even exist in any major fashion.

Particular problems for business are that benefits may be delivered by alternative means (different technologies): they may not be perceived as benefits (consumer resistance); or the skill set needed to deliver benefits may be very different from existing skill sets (new entrants).

Businesses need to be future-proofed. That is, they need to insure themselves against the posibility of the future being other than they currently expect. The two broad approaches suggested are through a return to business basics, and collaborative working: forming alliances; working with consortia.

Your key questions answered

* What are the big risks implicit in current forecasts: why are some businesses taking off too early?

* Where is the real actual spend happening right now?

* Which segments of the market should businesses be looking at investing in now: where should caution be exercised?

* How can businesses insure themselves against the uncertainties of future development in this area?

* What is the ‘standard narrative’ to which most businesses are working in the area of smart technology?