Smart Power Grid is Key to a Sustainable Energy Future

May 16, 2019

introduction of smart grid technology is an essential requirement that reduces overall greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with demand management that encourages energy efficiency, improves reliability and manages power more efficiently and effectively. A smart grid is the combination of centralized bulky power plants a distributed power generators that allows multi-directional power flow and information exchange. Its’ two-way power communication systems create an automated and energy-efficient advanced energy delivery network. On the other hand, in traditional power systems, power flows only in one direction, i.e., from generating station to customers via transmission and distribution networks.
Smart grid
The smart grid is a broad collection of technology that delivers an electricity network with flexibility, accessibi- lity, reliability and economy. Smart Grids are sophistica- ted; they can digitally enhance power systems where the use of modern communications and control technologies allows greater robustness, efficiency and flexibility than today’s power systems [1-6]. Brief comparisons between an existing grid and a smart grid are given in Table 1. Smart grid technologies are still new and many are in the development stage. However, it is anticipated that smart grid technology will be playing a self-regulatory role in power system networks due to its many advantages.
The advantages of Smart grid towards sustainability
  • Intelligent and Efficient Smart grid is capable of sensing system overloads and rerouting power to prevent or minimize a potential outage. It is efficient and potentially able to meet increasing consumer demand without adding any infrastructure.
  •  Accommodating Due to its robustness, a smart grid can accommodate energy from fuel sources as well as RE sources and adopt any new technologies for a climate-friendly society.
  • Reduce Global Warming Possible to integrate large-scale RE into the grid that reduces global warming as well as GHG emission.
  • Repairing and Maintenance Automatic maintenance and operation increase the efficiency of the power network. Moreover, predictive maintenance and self-healing reduce system disturbances.
  • Reliability Improves power quality and reliability as well as enhances the capacity of the existing network.
  • Distributed Generation Accommodates distributed power sources efficiently which reduces energy costs, GHG emissions and energy crisis issues worldwide.
  • Consumer Focus Consumers can customize their energy uses based on individual needs, electricity prices and environmental concerns.
  • Security With the adoption of security features in the smart grid, the network is safer from cyber-attack and any unwanted tampering and natural disaster. 1.9. Quality-Focused Ensures power quality of the network by reducing voltage fluctuation (sag, swell and spikes) and harmonic effects in the network.
  • Technology New concepts and technologies will be developed that enhance power system infrastructure and accommodate new opportunities in innovation.
  • Socio-Economic Development This new technology will open new doors in the power sector and communication arena. It will play an active role in socio-economic development as well as create job opportunities.

Smart grid promotes energy saving

  •  Improve the utilization efficiency of power generation resources by optimizing scheduling
    Optimization scheduling technologies have been already extensively applied in renewable energy
    generation such as wind, solar, PV systems and distributed generation.  proposes a novel solution for
    generation scheduling problem in power systems with a large capacity of grid-connected wind energy.
  •  Reduce line loss by optimizing reactive power compensation With the development of high voltage and long-distance transmission systems, reactive power in power lines is increasing rapidly, causing problems such as voltage loss and deterioration of power quality. It is significant to utilize reactive compensation to regulate voltage and improve the power quality of the power system. In a smart grid, main technologies for reactive power compensation include capacitor control and FACTS. Intelligent reactive power compensation technologies by capacitor control include network communication technology, zero cutting technology, etc.
  •  Improve the utilization efficiency of electrical equipment by demand response (DR) DR is a market behaviour which makes a response to market price or incentive mechanism to change ordinary electric consumption. Advanced information, control and communication technologies are integrated with the smart grid, which provides strong technical support to DR projects. Key techniques of DR
    are as follows:
  1.  Smart meters, record the real-time data on the electricity use and provide data support for the DR.
  2.  Two-way communication technology can complete real-time and high-speed information interaction.
  3. Home domain network, enhance the user participation in DR project.
  4.  User measurement data management, improve the accuracy of load forecasting and help to formulate
    reasonable DR project. Improve the power consuming efficiency
  • Smart grid improves the power consumption efficiency of power users . The smart grid provides all
    kinds of the necessary information for electric power users, such as current and historical electricity
    consumption, carbon dioxide emissions from the consumption of electrical energy, instant demand,
    environment temperature, humidity, and illuminance, etc. The electricity information is fed back to the
    users, which helps the users adjust the power consumption mode, change the concept of power
    consumption to improve the efficiency, and promotes the access of distributed power to the grid as well,
    so as to achieve smart interaction and green energy saving.
  • Energy sustainability contributes to climate and environment sustainability
    Climate warming influences human living conditions and natural environment, which is the basis for
    social and economic development, at the same time, the rapid development of the society aggravates the environmental pollution, and also GHG emissions that result in climate warming. Climate change has
    negative impacts on ecosystem services, human health and many other areas. Climate and environment
    sustainability have strong coupling with energy sustainability. The sustainable climate and environment
    are helpful for realizing the efficient utilization of energy supply and security, energy sustainability has a
    closed-loop positive feedback effect on the climate and environmental sustainability.

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