Engineering Careers Are Making A Comeback Thanks To The Smart Grid

by PM Today / 7/12/2019 2:44:20 PM

Traditional engineering has, over the last couple of decades, been somewhat superseded by software engineering, thanks to the rampant growth of the digital economy. Digital technology, however, is now having such an impact that it’s changing the fundamental nature of some of the most traditional sectors of the economy, including the energy sector.

Enter the smart grid. The smart grid is an assortment of technologies which increase the reliability and functionality of the network. Thanks to the rise of small-scale energy producers, like firms and households, there’s a need for a new type of grid that can manage energy sources from multiple providers and modalities. But implementing this new technology on a massive scale is a challenge. The network needs thousands of people with engineering backgrounds to make it happen.

The smart grid is the product of the digital revolution, but it’s legacy infrastructure, and it needs people with the skills to bring it up to date for the 21st century. The smart grid needs to be able to integrate multiple sources of energy, tell consumers about how much they’re consuming in real-time, and reduce the occurrence of outages.

It’s possible to imagine that the smart grid of the future will cut interruptions, make electric vehicle charging feasible on a massive scale, and allow people to make better use of renewables.

The following infographic shows how much the smart grid economy is expected to grow and the reasons why we need it, both as individuals and society. It’s not just about greener management, but better management.

Infographic by University of California - Riverside

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