Case Study 1: What's the Buzz on Smart Grids?

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CASE STUDY 1: What's the Buzz on Smart Grids?

1. How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States?

Current electricity grids do not provide any information about how consumers actually use energy. That makes 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. A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to • save energy

• reduce costs
• increase reliability and transparency
The smart grid enables information to flow back and forth between electric power providers and consumers and • allows 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. • helps consumers program high-use electrical appliances like heating and air conditioning consumption times usage systems to reduce during of peak usage. • could possibly lead to a five to fifteen percent decrease in energy consumption.

2. What management, organization, and technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid?

Management: Information feedback would allow consumers to see how much energy they are consuming at any moment and how much it’s costing them. That would allow them to make better decisions about using appliances like air conditioners and furnaces. They could potentially lower their energy bills. However, governments and energy companies need to help consumers overcome the intrusive feelings associated with the technology. Dashboard monitoring software must be easy for consumers to understand and use. Organizations: There are many disincentives for energy companies associated with smart...
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