The Smart Grid represents an unprecedented opportunity to move the energy industry into a new era of reliability, availability, and efficiency that will contribute to our economic and environmental health.
The current electric grid is built to deliver electricity from power sources like dams, coal, nuclear, and gas plants to consumers directly at home. The smart grid is designed to flip this transaction, allowing energy to flow both ways, from the plant to the home and back again.
The benefits of Smart Grid technology are considerable, and include:
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
- Improved security
Smart Grid technology is not just about electricity. Smart Grids are being developed for a more interactive relationship between companies and consumers.
The Smart Grid gives consumers information and tools they need to make choices about your energy use. A Smart Grid is expected to enable an unprecedented level of consumer participation.
For example, consumers should no longer have to wait for your monthly statement to know how much electricity they use. With a smarter grid, you can have a clear and timely picture of it.
Smart meters, and other mechanisms, allow you to see how much electricity you use, when you use it, and its cost. Combined with real-time pricing, this should pave the way for consumers to save money by using less power when electricity is most expensive.
Right now, many Smart Grid projects involve customers selling back energy generated from solar panels, but eventually, the idea is to bring electric vehicles into the fold too.
This idea is known as vehicle-to-grid charging: You can lend out energy stored up in your EV based on the grid’s needs, and your usage patterns.
Want to know more about Smart Grid technology? Tonex offers several Smart Grid Training courses.
Additionally, Tonex offers nearly 400 classes, seminars and workshops in close to four dozen categories of systems engineering training.
For more information, questions, comments, contact us.