Research from the Duke University Center on Globalization, Governance & Competitiveness today released a report, "U.S. Smart Grid: Finding new ways to cut carbon and create jobs."
The report states that because the United States is among the global leaders in smart grid development, it is expected to create tens of thousands of jobs annually in coming years. The report focuses supplier firms for these jobs, including electric equipment, IT, core communications, smart hardware, energy services, energy management, telecom service, and system integration.
Key findings of the study include the following:
- Smart grid provides a way for established firms to transition from traditional products into new areas, including new manufacturing opportunities.
- The fast-growing global market for smart grid technologies presents valuable export opportunities to be tapped by U.S. firms, large and small.
- Future U.S. job creation by product vendors will likely concentrate in high-value IT innovations, product development, and systems design and engineering.
- Others are catching up quickly, so to remain competitive, the United States will need to continue emphasizing not just innovation but also supportive policies.
According to Duke's research, "it will be important for the United States to continue to pursue the cutting edge of smart grid technologies, including those needed for integrating renewables, decentralized sources and electric vehicles into the grid." The authors also emphasized the catalyzing role of collaboration between public and private organizations, as well as the importance of local and regional partnerships.