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The IEEE today announced the formation of the IEEE 802.24 Smart Grid Technical Advisory Group (TAG). The newly launched entity is a collaborative umbrella organization that works with multiple IEEE 802 working groups (WGs) which will work with other standards development bodies and industry organizations to help resolve questions and challenges regarding the use of IEEE 802 standards in smart grid applications.

“IEEE 802 networking standards have achieved near-ubiquitous adoption – they’re essential underlying technologies found in almost every computing device made today, whether it’s a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or smartphone,” said Bill Ash, strategic program manager, IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA).

“Now with the smart grid’s continued evolution, IEEE 802 standards will also play a fundamental role in critical applications like home automation, advanced metering infrastructures, renewables integration and demand response. The IEEE 802.24 Smart Grid TAG will serve as the ultimate resource for practical information and insight about the use of IEEE 802 standards in the smart grid.”

The Smart Grid implies a fundamental re-engineering of the electricity services industry. It will make use of technologies that improve fault detection and allow self-healing of the network without the intervention of technicians. This will ensure more reliable supply of electricity, and reduced vulnerability to natural disasters or attack.

In 2009, President Barack Obama announced $3.4 billion in government grants to help build a “smart” electric grid and smart meters that will save consumers money on their utility bills, reduce blackouts and carry power supplies generated by solar and wind energy.

The grants (above), range from $400,000 to $200 million, and were awarded to 100 companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities and other partners in 49 states — every state except Alaska. Here’s a full listing by state (pdf) and catagory (pdf).

In its report, “U.S. Smart Grid Market Forecast: 2010–2015,” GTM Research says that the US smart grid market will grow more than 70 percent, from $5.6 billion in 2010 to $9.6 billion by 2015. They predict advanced metering, distribution automation, and home area networks will be the growth drivers.

Pike Research group, by contrast, predicts $200 billion in global smart-grid investment expected in 2008 to 2015, with almost $53 billion just in the U.S.

Dailywireless has more on Growing Power for Smart Grid, Smart Meters, including Cisco Launches Smart Grid Consortium, Obama Announces $3.4B in Electric “Smart Grid” Grants , General Electric Expands Smart Energy Management, GridNet + Sprint for US Smart Grid , Smart Grid Heats Up, First White Space Trial for “Smart Grid”, Alvarion Partners in Smart Grid Test, WiMAX SmartGrid Coming to 700K Australians, Zigbee Radio with 2 Mile Range, Google Power Meter , ABI: Stimulus Means Big Bucks for Wireless, The Smart Grid: Licensed or Unlicensed Spectrum, Cellular-enabled SCADA, Smart Grid: Dumb or What?, Smart Grid: It’s Alive!, Google: Smart Power R US, 900 Mhz Telemetry, Traffic Cameras and ITS and the Corpus Christi Cloud.

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