Electricity industry on a collision course with the FCC

The electricity industry is fighting for more access to increasingly valuable airwaves that it needs to keep the lights on and run and recharge the increasing amount of devices and tech toys tied to the Internet.

The industry has renewed its 20-year battle for the government to recognize its need for equal access to the radio frequency bandwidth in the electromagnetic spectrum, as energy management requires more machine-to-machine communication between customers and electricity providers.

For example, power grid operators need to be able to communicate with rooftop solar arrays to send signals on whether to increase output or curtail it, based on supply and demand changes.

Because generation is shifting away from central power stations, such as coal plants, and toward more distributed resources, communications will be key to managing the grid of the not-too-distant future, according to experts.

Published in Washington Examiner, 17th April, 2018