The smart grid is something of a buzz word at the moment. But it’s a buzzword with a lot of technology and systems already in place to make it happen. The basic idea behind the smart grid is to deliver an electricity network which adjusts to the needs of users in real-time and allows anyone, including your business, to sell excess energy to the grid.
The smart grid, therefore, is a kind of “grid 2.0.” As a society, we have the infrastructure that we need to distribute electricity around the country. Now we need a way of allowing everybody to share in that grid, both buying AND selling energy.
The task of making that happen is more complicated than you might first imagine. Network providers not only have to manage the electricity on the system continually but provide mechanisms that make it possible for companies to sell the energy that they create.
The solution to the problem involves all aspects of grid infrastructure. Part of it involves businesses like yours installing smart meters, and part of it means providing upgrades to substations to monitor and control transformer and battery status.
The value of the smart grid is extraordinary. Benefits worldwide are expected to hit $400 billion by 2020, with further increases in value scheduled over the following decade. The number of smart meter ships in the US alone is running at around 13.3 million per year and rising.
Check out the following infographic on the booming smart grid industry. Is your business ready?
Infographic by University of California – Riverside