At the recent Electronica exhibition held in Munich, Germany, the CEO panel discussion that comprised of four bosses of the semiconductor industry focused on one essential topic – the smart grid challenge, a vision that aims to provide improvements in reliability, security, economy, efficiency, environmental impact, and safety in power distribution.
STMicroelectronics’ Carlo Bozotti, NXP Semiconductors’ Rick Clemmer, Infineon Technologies’ Reinhard Ploss, and Freescale Semiconductor’s Gregg Lowe were all in the same mind in acknowledging smart grid technology in bringing more opportunities to the semiconductor market growth.
Some of the highlights of the panel discussion are:
- Changing from AC to DC transmission and eliminating reactive power consumption would help in improving the grid as high-voltage DC transmission could double energy transport.
- The sensor technology offers market opportunity as China will be deploying 300 million smart meters across the country by 2016.
- Electricity providers in Italy have installed $2 billion worth of 33 million smart meters and are currently experiencing $500 million worth of savings yearly.
- There’s sufficient financial drive in the smart grid challenge as the power interruptions in US cost them about $150 billion annually.
- Aside from the need to control the smart grid remotely, there’s also a call for smartness in the end devices and the need for tracking the 40% of electricity that is lost.