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In my last few blogs, I talked about cost reduction and speed of diffusion of Smart Grid technology (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3). Another related topic includes where the different Smart Grid technologies are positioned on the Gartner hype cycle. The Gartner hype cycle has a strong relation with the adaptation of new technology, and five distinct areas can be identified. After a new technology becomes available (trigger), the visibility of the new technology rises fast until it reached a maximum. At this point everybody is talking about the new technology, and expectations are unrealistic high (inflated). As a result, people become disappointed when the technology cannot deliver to its expectations, and it then starts to slide away into the so-called “through of disillusionment.”

Now in principle two things can happen. After some time, there is a revival of the new technology—somewhat adapted and better fitted for its purpose, with somewhat reduced expectations compared to the initial ones—or the new technology disappears from the scene. This disappearance can be either permanent or temporary, emerging later in a different form. And then the process starts all over again. After the new technology climbs out of the through, widespread adaptation is achieved at the plateau of productivity. In the graph below, Smart Grid technology positions are indicated at the Gartner hype cycle.

1. Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure
2. “Big Data” and its information extraction
3. Smart appliances
4. (Active) demand response
5. FACTS (Flexible AC Transmission Systems)
6. Energy Storage (UPS/Power Quality)

By: Peter Vaessen, principal consultant, DNV KEMA Energy & Sustainability

  1. Pingback: Modeling and Control of Sustainable Power Systems: Towards Smarter and Greener Electric Grids (Green Energy and Technology) | Solar Power For Homes

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