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Part of a series of insights from leading smart-grid, clean-energy, and utility experts speaking at gridCONNEXT. Questions asked by Clean Edge managing director and gridCONNEXT co-chair Ron Pernick.
Ron Pernick: Based on your extensive utility operations experience, what do you believe will be the most pressing issues facing grid operators over the next three to five years?
Walker: Cyber and physical security will continue to be a challenge for the grid, due in large part to the fact that the system was not originally designed with either in mind. The Office of Electricity (OE) is working to develop a near-term actionable operational strategy to mitigate and eliminate these threats through utilization of technology, design modifications, and operational considerations. Similarly, the generation mix of years past is not the one we have today or will have in the coming years. It is imperative that as distributed energy resources (DER) and variable energy resources (VER) are added to the system, national security is not compromised…
Over the past 12 months (through the end of May), QGRD (smart grid infrastructure) is up 17%, CELS (clean energy) 14%, and HHO (water) 12%, all beating the S&P 500’s 11% increase. GWE (wind) was up just 1% during the same period. Year to date, GWE is up 1% while QGRD, HHO, and CELS are down 1%, 2%, and 3% respectively.