Essay on Student: Smart Grid Technologies

Submitted By dampiai
Words: 3032
Pages: 13

Smart Grid Technology by James G. Barr Copyright 2013, Faulkner Information Services. All Rights Reserved.
Docid: 00021992

Publication Date: 1303 Report Type: TUTORIAL

Preview
The US electric system, which rivals the Apollo space program as "the supreme engineering achievement of the 20th century," is aging, inefficient, congested, vulnerable to attack (both natural and manmade), and incapable of supporting - much less managing - 21st century energy requirements. Along with building out their power generation infrastructure to provide increased capacity, the US electric industry needs to infuse the system with "smart grid" technology, expanding, for example, the use of microprocessors to record and report information relative to electric utilization - information that will enable electric providers (and consumers) to regulate and conserve costly electric resources. Report Contents:
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Executive Summary Description Current View Outlook Recommendations References Web Links

Executive Summary
[return to top of this report] The US Energy Information Administration (EIA) predicts that worldwide electric power generation will nearly double by 2030. Unfortunately, the power generation infrastructure is aging, inefficient, congested, vulnerable to attack (both natural and manmade), and incapable of supporting - much less managing - 21st century energy requirements. Along with building out their power generation infrastructure to provide increased capacity, the US electric industry needs to infuse the system with "smart grid" technology, expanding, for example, the use of microprocessors to

record and report information relative to electric utilization - information that will enable electric providers (and consumers) to regulate and conserve costly electric resources. The forces driving the demand for smart grid solutions are both simple and irresistible:

1. An ever-escalating population, more than seven (7) billion worldwide. 2. An understandable feeling of entitlement among peoples of developing nations who deserve - and demand - the same plugged-in lifestyle enjoyed by Americans and other "westerners".

3. The gradual transition from an energy infrastructure based on oil and national gas to one based on solar, wind, and other renewable electric energy sources.

4. The need to save money. The Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than 4 percent by 2030. That would mean a savings of $20.4 billion for businesses and consumers around the country.

5. A phenomenon which Smart Grid News describes as "the electrification of everything," including the first serious efforts to develop electric cars.1 According to the GridWise Alliance, smart grid solutions, in the form of special hardware, software, and telecommunications tools, offer the promise of:

1. "[Reducing] peak demand by actively managing consumer demand - The percentage of available appliances and equipment that can respond to both consumer and utility operator priorities continues to grow. The ability to manage power requirements in both directions - to the utility as well as from the utility - will reduce the need for power, especially during high-use periods like hot summer afternoons when the cost of producing and delivering power is extremely high.

2. "[Balancing] consumer reliability and power quality needs - Although some uses of electricity require near perfect reliability and quality, others are almost insensitive to these needs. A smart grid will be able to distinguish the difference and adjust power reliability and quality accordingly at an appropriate cost.

3. "[Mining] energy efficiency opportunities proactively - A smart grid will furnish consumers and utilities with accurate, timely, and detailed information about energy use. Armed with this information, [consumers and utilities] can identify ways to reduce energy…