Expert: Smart grid use will drive datacentre demand

Expert: Smart grid use will drive datacentre demand

Lots of opportunity in smart grids for datacentre players

Huawei director of smart grid development, Claudio Lima, has claimed the rising use of smart grids will lead to a sharp jump in datacentre demand.

Lima was in Australia to attend a smart grid event in Sydney. He said Australia was one of the world’s leaders in the technology, which aims to monitor and control the use of electricity using technologies like broadband, and that it would probably have widespread adoption within five years.

“2010 seems to be the starting year for many countries with smart grids,” he said. “Australia is [probably] leading most of the crowd at the moment.

“Communications and IT are the key enablers for anyone wanting an intelligent network, including software IT and new control systems.”

But despite the positive benefits available to countries willing to adopt smart grid systems, Lima said it was important to remember the problems and requirements it involves.

“If you take the data coming in from 10,000 smart metres, you can handle that, but think about scaling that to maybe over 10 million subscribers or 50-60 million homes,” he said. “That’s the huge problem – how to handle and crunch the data and make sure it provides meaningful information for you to manage your processes, consumers and systems.

“That’s something that utilities have never experienced before – the only ones that know how to handle it are telecommunications companies because it’s how you manage your cell phone.”

Lima said while the widespread adoption of smart grids was being held back by a lack of standardisation, there was a major push underway to confirm one set of parameters for all companies – after which the wave of technology would be adopted.

“Yes for sure, it will [greatly boost] data centre needs,’ he said. “Think about millions or billions of sensors trying to measure things and this is just a part of a smart grid.

“You’ll need facilities to handle data, analyse and crunch it for business analytics so then you’ll require much more than you have today… that’s why you need smart applications.”

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