You'd have to be Amish to miss the fact that the United States' power grid is an inefficient mess. Fortunately, big plans for a smart power grid are in the works — so big that the grid will be a $63 billion industry by 2013.
The new grid will consist of advanced electric meters monitoring consumption and sending information through a network of sensors and computers that integrate remote intermittent generators with customer demand.
The current boom in alternative energies has made it a necessity for the aging power grid to get an overhaul, and the boom won't stop anytime soon. Utilities plan to add 40 more gigawatts of clean energy generation by 2030 due mainly to state mandates.
According to Lux Research, the smart grid will require networking technologies, smart metering hardware and software, flywheels and supercapacitators, alternative-grid connected power sources, and energy storage. The majority of the market will be taken up by alternative grid power and energy storage, while the market for smart grid technologies such as smart metering hardware and software will be small in comparison.
So if you're thinking about getting into the electric battery business, now's the time to get started — you'll have a smart grid to look forward to soon enough.