In this interview, Alan Mantooth discusses the role power electronics will have in Smart Grid. He also characterizes the Smart Grid as a “grand challenge” that requires sustained attention and commitment from industry and all stakeholders.

Question: What would you say are the greatest benefits of Smart Grid?

I actually think that the greatest benefit Smart Grid brings to us is balance.

The Smart Grid does this in various ways. It gives us options that we can choose from so that we can deliver the most appropriate energy services to a market depending on the market’s local needs and energy resources, such as wind and solar. Smart Grid also allows us to achieve a balance between energy supply options, such as renewables, fossil fuels and nuclear power, because it enables more renewables to come onto the grid in a stable and practical fashion and can actually make money.