Erik Kobayashi-Solomon writes at Forbes:
One leading thinker in the Grid Evolution space, Dr. Shuli Goodman, believes that the success of Linux to transform the tech world can and should be applied to next-generation electrical grids.
Dr. Goodman is the executive director of LF Energy, a young offshoot of the Linux Foundation (“LF”) that partners with prominent organizations to develop open-source software for utilities and grid operators to instantaneously understand and manage various new pools of energy supply (e.g. renewables, batteries, etc.). This software offers a single, common reference code base that all organizations can use as a base to build its own customized solutions. The advantage of the LF Energy approach is standardization and, more crucially, speed of implementation.
At this point, you may be asking the same question I asked Dr. Goodman: “Why do utilities and grid operators need software to run things anyway?”
The fact is that they never did. Back in the “good ole days” utilities were “communicating” with their customers in the same way someone with a megaphone communicates with an audience – shouting unidirectionally all the time. In this model, there is no room for complex multidirectional signals or need for software to manage the communication process.
Contrast that with the model that LF Energy is pioneering which, in our communication analogy, would be more similar to an Internet chat room than the old megaphone model. In an evolved, modern system, all parties are able to communicate bidirectionally in real-time with every other party.