Current electricity grids do not provide any information about how consumers actually use energy. That make it difficult to develop more efficient approaches to distribution. The current system offers few ways to handle power provided by alternative energy sources. Without useful information, energy companies and consumers have difficulty making good decisions about using energy wisely.
The advantages of smart grids:
A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to Save energy
Reduce costs and pollution
Increase reliability and transparency
The smart grid enables information to flow back and forth between electric power providers and individual households to allow both consumers and energy companies to
Allow both consumers and energy companies to make more intelligent decisions regarding energy consumption and production.
Provides information that would help utilities raise prices when demand is high and lower them when demand lessens.
Help consumer program high-use electrical appliances like heating and air conditioning systems to reduce consumption during peak hours.
Could possibly lead to a five to fifteen percent decrease in energy consumption.
Another advantage of smart grids is their ability to detect sources of power outages more quickly and precisely at the individual household level.
What management, organization, and technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid?
Management: In-home displays would allow consumers to see how much energy they are consuming at any moment and how much it is costing them. That would allow them to make better decisions about using appliances like air conditioners and curb their consumption to cut costs. Government and energy companies need to help consumers overcome the intrusive feelings associated with technology. A digital dashboard must be easy for consumers to understand and use.
Organization: have budgets and profits that can impact a consumer when it comes to reducing their energy consumption. Along with assistance from the federal government implementation costs can be extremely high. Consumer backlash is already evident in the few experimental cases to date. Without proper structure implementation an adverse reaction can grow against energy companies.
Technology: Network and switches for power management; sensor and monitoring devices to track energy usage and distribution trends; systems to provide energy suppliers and consumers with usage data, communications systems linked to programmable appliances to run them when energy is least costly, are all expensive and time-consuming to retrofit into all the homes across the nation. Basically, the entire energy infrastructure would require retrofitting.
What challenge to the development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development?
There are a number of challenges facing the efforts to implement smart grids:
Changing the infrastructure of the entire electric grid across the nation is a daunting task.
Installing two-way meters that allow information to flow both to and from homes and businesses.
Creating an intuitive end-user interface like dashboards that are user-friendly.
The smart grid won’t be cheap, with estimated costs running as high as $75 billion.
Potential intrusiveness of new technology.