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January 14, 2011

Mark Armentrout Reflects on Smart Grid 2010 and Looks Forward to Smart Grid 2011



TMC (News - Alert) featured smart grid contributor and founder of Intelligent Communications Partner, Jon Arnold, recognizes that ALL sectors go through consolidation phases, and smart grid experienced such a thing in 2010.  Arnold wrote in mid-December, “Smart grid, by nature, is a capital intensive business, making it very difficult for small, software-based companies to get too far along without some major help.” Arnold saw the market as maturing, commenting that major infrastructure vendors were recognizing the need to get beyond basic plumbing.

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In a recent interview with TMC’s CEO, Rich Tehrani (News - Alert), Mark Armentrout, president of Texas Institute and keynote speaker at the Smart Grid Summit, collocated event with ITEXPO East, commented on the significant developments of smart grid in 2010. With consolidation and forward-thinking beyond basic plumbing, 2010 proved to be a good year for smart grid. Looking forward to 2011’s development, Armentrout said, “The most significant smart grid development in 2010 has been the accumulation of knowledge in working professionals in our power, electronic and information industries about smart grid technologies. In 2011, we should see more activity and product development on the consumer side and more operational and asset efficiency in generation and transmission.”

As Arnold made note of in early 2010, a consumer survey commissioned by GE Energy found that 79 percent of those sampled were not familiar with the term "smart grid."  However, later in July 2010  Arnold recognized that smart grid had ascended aggressively into the public consciousness over the previous few months. Just as Armentrout noted, 2011 will be the year of the consumer for smart grid. For smart grid to succeed, our behaviors and habits will need to change, both in terms of how we consume energy, as well as the products we buy and use in the home. It is too early to know just how extensively these things will change.

Besides summarizing the trend in consumer awareness for 2011, Armentrout commented on the trend of rising energy costs on smart grid in 2011. He relayed this to Rich Tehrani saying, “With the proven reserves of shale gas being what they are, I do not see a significant electricity price impact on smart grid deployment in 2011, since Gas is the swing fuel and drives most of the country’s electricity wholesale markets. My view is that Gas prices will remain where they are for quite awhile and the 9 cent/KWh national average for residential consumers will not move much.”

Want to learn more about Smart Grid technologies? Then be sure to attend the Smart Grid Summit, collocated with TMC’s ITEXPO East, taking place Feb 2-4, 2011, in Miami. Mark Armentrout will be a keynote speaker focusing on “The Smart Grid Vision.”

The Smart Grid Summit is the first event of its kind to address the unprecedented opportunity coming from the intersection of two core building blocks of our economy – utilities and communications. This unique event is based on the joint vision of TMC and Intelligent Communications Partners (News - Alert) to create a new forum for and actively engage an entire community. To register, click here.


Jaclyn Allard is a TMCnet copy editor. She most recently worked on the production team at Juran Institute, a quality consulting firm producing its own training and marketing materials. Previously, she interned at Curbstone Press, a nonprofit publishing press in Willimantic, CT, and fulfilled the role of Editor-in-Chief for the literature and arts journal published by the University of Connecticut. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard
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