Smart Grid

Key Points

Why do I need to know about Smart Grid?


Because the words Smart Grid describe a very important energy distribution development without which:-


we cannot hope to build a greener energy supply future

we cannot build a distributed power generation system where power is generated closer to the end user, thus saving energy. 

energy will in future be much more expensive. 

we will see a decline in:-

our economy

our commerce

our industry

our international trade

our quality of life

Smart Grid technology means less waste, less greenhouse gasses, less nuclear waste and a brighter greener future for us all.

when compared with the rest of the developed world


To sum up


Before we look at a Smart Grid, let's start with a look at what we have now - a dumb grid.


Smart Grid:

Energy with communication:


With what we have now:-


the power companies frequently only know when there is a power failure because a member of the public phones and tells them

every time there is a peak in demand, the grid is more at risk of failure

it costs a fortune to produce the extra power needed to fulfill peak demand

we have little control as users over how we spend our money on energy

Smart grid technology means that power generators, power distributors and energy users are in constant digital communication, behind the scenes, working together to make the grid:-

more robust

more efficient

more flexible

more cost effective

greener 



a huge percentage of the energy generated is wasted and simply heats up the power lines, adding to global warming


With a smart grid:-


the electricity distribution grid comprises flows of both power for users and information to enable the whole system to run as efficiently and robustly as possible

the distribution grid is continually monitored by computers. Data about energy demand, weather conditions, historic patterns of energy usage and much more are brought together in order to forecast usage

the forecast is used to set the grid up to deal comfortably with demand

the computers detect failures in the grid and even predict them so that energy can be routed seamlessly around the problem with the result that energy users are unaware that a problem even existed

it is possible to have any number of small scale generators producing electricity and selling the energy they produce to the grid. This could include energy produced by:-

local power stations

solar panels on the roof of a house

wind powered generators

other renewables.

better energy management means less energy needs to be generated leading to:-

less greenhouse gasses

less global warming

less nuclear waste

constantly monitored underground copper power lines are:-

more efficient

waste less energy

more reliable

more secure

less damaging to health

not a blight on the natural environment


Smart meters are part of a Smart Grid. 


Stour Valley Underground believe that as a nation, we should be at the forefront of the development and implementation of Smart Grid technology and that we need to start to work toward a Smart Grid now. 


We say that any new power lines proposed by National Grid should be:-

made of copper

intelligently monitored

upgradable

future proof

able to integrate into a Smart Grid

UNDERGROUND

We believe that the legacy we leave future generations should not just be a beautiful and inspiring landscape, it should be a landscape that lays over the technology needed to ensure a:-

cleaner

greener

more secure

energy efficient

cost efficient

and

environmentally responsible

future

Smart meters in your home make it possible to:-


monitor and plan your energy usage

say we need a Smart Grid

make decisions about how and when to use appliances take advantage of lower cost energy when demand on the grid is low

be informed as to how much energy will cost for the next hour or the next day

use your laptop computer and the internet to choose a set of energy usage preferences for your home so that you automatically use energy wisely

enable you to live your life as you want but do it as energy cost effectively as possible