Thursday, 14 April 2011

Smart Grids (again)

I blogged about smart grids just the other day but they seem to be the 'in thing' and keep popping up everywhere.

The very interesting picture above is from The Guardian article here, that promises that consumers will be able to cut down on their bills by taking advantage of smart meters.

Meanwhile European Commission is making Smart Grids a high priority. The following is from one of their communique:

The European Commission presented its Communication on smart grids. It sets policy directions to drive forward the deployment of future European electricity networks. Bringing together latest progress in Information and Communication technologies and network development will allow electricity current to flow exactly where and when it is needed at the cheapest cost. Smart grids will give in particular to consumers the ability to follow their actual electricity consumption in real time : smart meters will give consumers strong incentives to save energy and money. Estimates show that smart electricity grids should reduce CO2 emissions in the EU by 9% and the annual household energy consumption by 10%. They also help to ensure secure functioning of the electricity system and are a key enabler of both the internal energy market and integration of vast amounts of renewable.

You can read the complete press summary here. A new report entitled 'Smart Grids: from innovation to deployment' is available to download from here. The European Commission Smart Grids taskforce webpage is here.

The following is from IEEE Spectrum :

On 17 March, game designers at the Institute for the Future, in collaboration with us at IEEE Spectrum, ran a 24-hour forecasting game called Smart Grid 2025. Weenlisted the help of listeners like you and game players around the world to brainstorm solutions to the problems the smart grid will face. That way, by 2025—when all our homes have smart meters and utilities are linking up wind farms and solar plants to national grids—it'll be running as smoothly as it possibly can.

Steven Cherry's guest is Jake Dunagan, the game's project leader at the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto, Calif. He was on this show in early March in advance of the Smart Grid 2025 game to talk about how it would work, and now he's back to tell how it went.

This interview was recorded 4 April 2011. (Listen below)

Background on Smart Grids from the same IEEE article: One of the hottest topics in engineering is the smart grid—the idea of adding computer intelligence to a nation's basic electrical grid. The goal is to transport and use energy more efficiently in the grid itself—and also in your home. By adding intelligence to our electrical meters, fuse boxes, even our home appliances, each of us can use electricity more wisely and consume less of it.

But it's still early days for smart grid deployment. In fact, today, the smart grid still raises more questions than it answers—questions like, who will profit from the smart grid? How do we keep the smart grid from knowing too much about our personal lives? Is the smart grid dangerously hackable? Will the smart grid force you to do your laundry at night? Will the smart grid make us healthier? What kind of appliances are needed to accommodate the smart grid?

Feel free to add your thoughts in the comments.

1 comment:

Kulvinder said...

HI :-) am from Kenya just wanted u to know that i read ur blogs daily when updated and i am a huge fan. Keep it up