Smart Grid - cleanaircouncil

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Nov 21, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Smart Grid
:

The Future

of Energy

The Problem

with the Current Energy Grid

Today’s

energy grid

(the network for delivering
power from producers to consumers)

is inefficient
and unreliable. Congestion,
bottlenecks,

and
blackouts cost energy providers and
consumers

billions of dollars annually. Additionally, consumers
are uninformed when it comes to how and when
they use energy

and where that energy comes
from
. Furthermore
,
most energy generated today
comes from a few large
fossil fuel based producers,
maki
ng the grid

very “dirty” and
vulnerable to
attacks and natural disasters.

The Future

of Energy

In the future, our energy grid will be smart.
A

smart
grid
will

be more efficient than our current energy
grid, as each asset within the grid
will
integrate wel
l
with other assets to maximize function while
reducing costs, energy use, and air pollution.

Features

of a Smart Grid

Self
-
healing

Ability
-

A smart grid will employ
advanced sensors for
constant self
-
monitoring

in
order

to detect, analyze, respond to, and

when
needed, restore components of the grid.

Attack Resistance
-

Smart grid security protocols will
contain elements of deterrence, prevention,
detection, response, and mitigation in order to
minimize

an attack’s

impact on the grid, the
economy
, and the co
nsumer
.

High Quality Power
-

A smart grid will meet higher
power
quality
standards

reducing costly
transmission and distribution losses and increasing
the efficiency and life expectancy of the grid.

Incentives to Participate
-

Through the use of smart
meters

(see devices employed), a

smart grid will
allow for
two
-
way
,
real
-
time communication
between consumers and service providers
.
Furthermore, a smart grid
will
maintain energy

prices that corres
pond to demand at a given
moment
, a feature known as dynamic pri
cing.

C
onsumers

will

be more aware of how
and when
they use energy and will

have incentives
to
conserve energy

and save money by

adjust
ing

their
energy use
.

Accommodation of

Various Generation and
Storage Options
-

A smart grid will
seamlessly
integrate al
l types of electrical generation and
storage, on any scale

analogous to

“plug
-
and
-
play” capability
. This will

encourage further
development and deployment of renewable
energy generation

everything from single home
solar panels to huge wind farms
.

Expand
ed

Markets
-

A smart grid will
creat
e a
n
ationwide open marketplace

for energy
, along
with
opp
ortunities for new generation,

storage,
distribution,

and monitoring
technologies
.

Efficiency
-

A smart grid will
use

real
-
time

data

to

optimize the capacity and qual
ity of electrical
service
s

reducing

the
costs
of
congestion,
transmission losses, outage
s
, and maintenance,
while prolonging the life of electrical assets
.



Devices Employed

by a Smart Grid

Smart Meters
-

Smart meters

d
evices that
track
how and when a hou
sehold uses energy

will
eventually replace regular meters that must be
read by utility employees
.

E
nergy us
ag
e
information
will be
sent to
both
the utility
and
the
consumer.

By giving consumers access to energy
usage information, they will be able

to con
serve
energy and use it more efficiently
.

Smart Appliances
-

Smart
appliances

such as
washers, dryers, refrigerators, and heating systems

are equipped with computer chips, which allow
them to
operate when most economical and
efficient
.

These devices have b
een developed in
labs but are not yet market ready.

Advanced Monitoring Devices
-

To monitor the grid,
advanced monitoring devices will send

out
electrical impulses to s
pecific areas of the smart
grid. When
used in conjunction with Global
Positioning Satel
lites (GPS),

a real
-
time visual
representation of the grid

can be
formed.

This
can then be used to quickly identify and correct
problems in the grid.

Batteries
-

Batteries allow for energy storage that will
benefit both utilities and consumers. Batteries c
an
hold energy generated
during off
-
peak
periods
for
use
during on
-
peak

periods
, reducing
utilities’
need
for excess generation and storage capabilities
.
With improved battery storage capacity and the
shift

to

hybrid and
electric cars, plug
-
in electric
ve
hicle batteries will be the most efficient and
widely used type of batteries in a smart grid.


Benefits

of a Smart Grid

A

self
-
healing and attack
-
resistant smart grid will
be
more reliable than the current grid

reducing

the
number, and thus the cost, of o
utages and service
interruptions.

H
igher quality power, as well as widespread, small
-
scale generation, will decrease transmission and
distribution losses, reducing overall energy use and
thus air pollution and money spent.

S
mart meters, smart appliances, a
nd dynamic
pricing will give consumers the information,
incentive, and ability to use energy
when demand
and prices are low

saving consumers and
producers money. Additionally,
demand spikes will
be smoothed out
, eliminating the need for energy
producers t
o maintain excess generators

rarely
used and often very dirty

to meet peak demand.

Furthermore, energy conservat
ion by producers
and consumers

would become widespread, thus
reducing air pollution.

T
he ability of a smart grid to integrate various
generatio
n and storage options will
open

new
markets

for energy and related technologies. This
will allow easy integration of renewable energy into
the grid, economically benefiting consumers and
producers, as well as benefiting the environment.

Policy
Progress in

the US

Energy Policy Act (2005)
-

This act required the US
Department of Energy (DOE) to investigate the
benefits and feasibility of implementing demand
response and dynamic pricing systems.

Energy Independence

and Security Act (2007)
-

This
act e
stablished

Smart Grid Advisory Committee
under National Institute of Standards and
Technology, and called for $100 million per year in
smart grid funding from 2008
-
2012.

American Recovery
and Reinvestment Act
(Feb
ruary

2009)
-

This act p
rovided $11 billion for
creati
on of a smart grid.

Federal Energy R
egulatory Commission (Mar
ch

2009)
-

This meeting resulted in acceleration of the

creation of a smart grid and proposed
smart grid
guidelines

dealing with

cyber security,
communication between involved parties, “wide
-
area
situational awareness,” and coordination of
the bulk power system with new and emerging
technologies.

DOE Funding (April 2009)
-

The DOE i
ssued notice of
intent to provide $4 billion of recovery funds for
development

of smart grid and related
technologies.

DOE Meeting (May 2009)
-

Secretary of Energy
Stephen Chu met with Commerce Secretary Gary
Locke and industry leaders in order to further
establish smart grid guidelines.


Obstacles

to Implementation

Regulations
-

The c
urrent regulations are aimed at
punishi
ng producers for violations, rather than
rewarding efficiency and environmental
friendliness.

Additionally,
detailed
standards that
allow for uniform development and implementation
of a smart grid have not yet been put in place.

Rapid Transformation
-

Curr
ently, e
nergy producers
do not have the means
or incentives
to rapidly
transform
their businesses and operations.

Cost
-

Putting a nationwide smart grid into place will
require a substantial upgrade of our current energy
infrastructure, which will cost bill
ions of dollars.

Technological Issues
-

Further technological
innovation is needed to produce technologies that
can
be
effectively
and economically
integrated
into a smart grid.

Privacy Issues
-

Because
detailed, real
-
time
energy
usage data will be
widely
available to

producers,
many people are concerned about consumer
privacy and security.

Equity

Issues
-

Forcing people to pay higher prices
for energy at peak times, regardless of
circumstances
,

may be seen as unfair.

For
example,
many
elderly
people
need a
ir
conditioning

but might not be able to afford high
energy costs at peak times.

For more information check out the Clean Air
Council website at
www.cleanair.org
.