A new watchword for the industry and its regulators.
If you’ve read my column regularly for a few years, then you probably know one of my favorite industry events is the DistribuTECH annual conference and tradeshow. DTECH gives me a clear sense of what the industry’s technology leaders are hearing from their customers, and how they expect to focus their work.
Each year, certain themes tend to emerge from DTECH. They show up in the conference proceedings and in exhibitors’ booths—and most importantly, during conversations with attendees. Last year’s themes seemed to be “analytics” and “advanced distribution management systems.” In 2010 and 2011, the themes involved demand response and customer engagement. And before that, every DTECH exhibitor was providing “smart grid solutions”—whatever that meant to them.
At 2013’s DTECH, the theme seemed to be “resilience”—specifically, the system’s ability to withstand a variety of assaults, physical and cyber. The implications of this theme raise some interesting questions about the industry’s future—in terms of both investment plans and operational strategies.