Optimal electricity delivery
Smart Grid drivers
In alphabetical order
Large parts of the existing infrastructure dates back to the 1960s or even earlier and is reaching the end of its useful life. Equipment is under extreme stress during peak demand.
Integrating intermittent energy sources
Intermittent energy sources such as wind and solar will put additional strains on existing grids. Their intermittence must be counter-balanced with more intelligence in the Grid, base load power generation (hydro, nuclear) and storage.
Lower energy prices
Regulators are pushing for more competition to lower energy prices. Utilities need to add information and communication techniques to maintain profitability and retain the ability to invest in infrastructure.
Security of supply and increase in energy needs
Efficient and reliable transmission and distribution of electricity is fundamental to maintain functioning economies and societies. Electricity demand is steadily increasing.
Public interest groups are putting pressure on politicians to reduce CO2 emissions through the adoption of alternative energy sources and put in place regulations to increase energy efficiency.
Utilities need to address the following challenges
- High power system loading
- Increasing distance between generation and consumption
- Fluctuating energy availability of renewables
- Additional and new consumption models (electric car, smart buildings)
- Central power generation in parallel to large numbers of small, decentralized (distributed) generation
- Increasing cost and regulatory pressures
- Utility unbundling
- Increased energy trading
- Transparent consumption & pricing for the consumer
The priority of local drivers and challenges might differ from place to place.