Smart Grid: What it is and why it’s important to our energy future

Our current electrical grids have served us well since they were first established over 100 years ago. They were designed in a very effective way to adhere to the needs of households and businesses that required some light electrical use for lights, radios and other small devices. However, our world is becoming more and more reliant on electricity for our various technological devices. Because of this, the average household now uses a lot more energy than it used to in the decades of the past, and we’re requiring more energy every day. Our current grids simply aren’t designed well enough for our current energy needs. That is why the Smart Grid was created as a replacement for our current grid system.
What is a Smart Grid?

One of the main negatives to our current grid system is that it only allows for one-way communication. The electric companies send out the electricity and the electric system within the customer’s home or business accepts the electricity. The Smart Grid allows for two-way communication, which allows the electric company to gain valuable feedback about the entire grid. It also has several other programs and devices which allow it to more effectively handle electrical management and distribution.

What are the Benefits of Using a Smart Grid System?
Smart Grid Monitoring

With the information collected using the Smart Grid system, electric companies can be more efficient with their energy transmissions. This makes Smart Grid a greener option as opposed to our current grid system.

Smart Grid is also more easily adaptable to alternative energy sources and customer-generated electricity through devices such as windmills.

Since the electric companies will be working much more efficiently with lower management and operation costs, the rates for customers will likely be lower than what they are paying now.

One of the best benefits to Smart Grid technology is that electric companies will be able to more effectively deal with power outages due to bad weather, accidents or other incidents. The Smart Grid technology allows them to reroute electricity to other terminals easily, find broken lines more easily, isolate blackouts and restore power faster.

Customers can also enjoy other benefits of the Smart Grid system such as the Smart Meters, which allow customers to monitor their electricity use and how much they currently owe for their usage. In the event of price changes, the meters will be quickly altered to adhere to the new pricing system.

Why is the Smart Grid Important for Our Energy Future?

Our current grid system isn’t working well enough now for our current needs, and as time goes on we’re only going to get increasingly reliant on electricity for various reasons. It’s best to implement the conversion to Smart Grids now instead of waiting too long, especially since we need extra time to properly install and test these systems in a wide scale.

Today's grid - Tomorrow's Grid

In addition, the added benefit of well-handled outages will also get increasingly needed as time goes on. Many important aspects of our lives rely on electricity such as banking, hospitals, traffic lights, security, communications and more. When outages occur, our world suddenly gets more complicated can dangerous. Being able to resolve power outages sooner and isolated outages will decrease the risks associated with outages.

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