What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids?

Topics: Smart grid, Energy development, Public utility Pages: 3 (989 words) Published: February 20, 2013
Assignment 1
What’s the Buzz on Smart Grids? Case Study

1.How do smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in the United States? Smart Grids Advantages:
A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using digital technology to save energy, reduce costs, and 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 make more intelligent decisions regarding energy consumption and production. Information from smart grids would show utilities when to raise prices when demand is high and lower then when demand lessens. Smart grids would also help consumers program high-use electrical appliances like heating and air conditioning systems to reduce consumption during times of peak usage. If implemented nationwide, proponents believe, smart grids would lead to a 5 to 15 percent decrease in energy consumption. Electricity grids are sized to meet the maximum electricity need, so a drop in peak demand would enable utilities to operate with fewer expensive power plants, thereby lowering costs and pollution. Another advantage of smart grids is their ability to detect sources of power outages more quickly and precisely at the individual household level. With such precise information, utilities will be able to respond to service problems more rapidly and efficiently.

Current Electricity Infrastructure Disadvantages:
The existing electricity infrastructure in the United States is outdated and inefficient. Energy companies provide power to consumers, but the consumers are using that energy, making it difficult to develop more efficient approaches to distribution. The current electricity grid offers few ways to handle power provided by alternative energy sources.

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