Smart grid is a relatively new concept that has assumed a variety of meanings and definitions. Currently, our electricity grid is considered to be “dumb.” For instance, if power goes out in a neighborhood, the local utility usually will not be aware of this until a customer calls to inform them. What the smart grid promises us is a variety of benefits. It will allow electricity users to better understand how much energy their appliances use and also when it is cheapest to use them. It will also allow home owners to have their appliances automatically respond to changes in electricity pricing. Finally, smart grid will allow electric vehicles to be smoothly integrated with the electricity grid so that they charge only when pricing and is optimal.
As I’ve written a few times in the recent past, I believe that we have the proverbial cart before the horse when it comes to smart grid. We tend to think of this concept as “futuristic,” like flying cars, when, in fact, it’s what underpins the transition the world is making right now in the direction of energy efficiency, conservation, and renewables. (more…)
Widespread adoption of electric vehicles will reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly. Some are worried that the electric grid will be stressed leading to a decrease in its reliability. In related news today, Battelle and AeroVironment have a technology that will address this concern, and help EV’s charge when the grid is most able to support charging. (more…)
Advanced meters are the most visible component of recent smart grid deployments, dominating much public and media attention. However, industry members recognize even greater opportunities and imperatives for modernizing distribution infrastructure and operations further up the line. Distribution automation (DA) is a hot topic in the utility industry, encompassing (more…)
Here’s an article that points to a controversy about smart grid, i.e., about the concept of two-way communication between the electric generation plant and the customer, and the application of intelligence to flow of information. Apparently, someone is alleging that the money spent in the arena has been misspent, that smart grid won’t improve grid reliability, etc. (more…)
We don’t think about energy until something goes wrong, and this week things went wrong on an historic level. As a result, the public and pundits are again focusing on the fragility of big electric grids.
Ten percent of the world’s population – more than 600 million people – lost their power in India on July (more…)
Recently I had the chance to tour the Island of Alcatraz, once the site of one of America’s most famous prisons. The prison was closed in 1963 due to the high cost of maintenance in such a remote location, but it remains a top tourist destination.
My justification for this junket was an invitation from (more…)
Imagine this scenario: you get an SMS saying there’s a problem in your home of excessive power output (“power leak”) and that an electric company rep is on his way to fix the problem. Sounds incredible? Well, apparently this scenario is not far from being realized. This is what Itai Brezis, Director of Strategy and Business Development at Cellcom, claimed at (more…)