Smart Grid in the USA will cost billions, and save trillions

Smart Grid in the USA will cost billions, and save trillions

According to industry experts, the planned modernization of the U.S. national power network will cost 476 billion dollars during the next 20 years, but will provide consumers with savings of about $ 2 trillion over time, according to industry experts. The so-called “Smart Grid” will save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability of electricity delivery from suppliers

According to industry experts, the planned modernization of the U.S. national power network will cost 476 billion dollars during the next 20 years, but will provide consumers with savings of about $ 2 trillion over time, according to industry experts.

The so-called “Smart Grid” will save energy, reduce costs and increase reliability of electricity delivery from suppliers to consumers using two-way communication that has the ability to control household appliances, electric vehicle charging and the flow of electricity from renewable sources to consumers’ homes.

Matt Wakefield, Head of smart grid project in the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), said that the implementation of the smart grid is a long-term process.

As the new technology develops and becomes cheaper, it is used in order to find the most efficient way to meet supply and demand.

To power the system of the future and to become a reality, EPRI believes that power companies must invest between 17 and 24 billion dollars per year over the next two decades. Most of these costs will be transferred to consumers.

Clark Gellings, EPRI’s member, believes that the consumers must be educated about the power system network improvements that will result in reduced costs, even if they do not immediately see a reduction in the bills.

EPRI estimates that by 2050 the average bill for electricity will increase by about 50% if the smart network is operational, however on the other hand if the smart grid is not implemented the energy bills could grow up to almost 400%.

Some of the biggest technology companies in the world, including the International Business Machines, General Electric, ABB, Siemens, Google, Toshiba, Cisco, and Microsoft, compete with each other to achieve a smart network infrastructure. Last week, a Japanese multinational company Toshiba has agreed, for 2.3 billion U.S. dollars to buy Swiss company for smart grid technology Landis + Gyr.

Meeting supply and demand Large technology companies looking to produce devices and software packages necessary to the production facility to communicate with equipment that uses electricity.

In addition to major technology companies and various other companies related to energy, renewable energy, household appliances and auto industry can use the smart grid to interact with its consumers.

Energy traders, such as NRG and Consolidated Edison’s ConEdison Solutions, can use smart network to achieve the best possible offers and other services.

Manufacturers of home appliances such as Whirlpool and Haier Electronics can sell more efficient appliances, and car manufacturers such as Ford Motor and General Motors can use the smart grid to power their electric cars.

The current electricity network is not designed to meet the needs of the restructuring of the electricity market, the increasing demands of a digital society, or the increased use of renewable energy sources.

The network now consists primarily of coal-fired power plants, nuclear and gas power plants, which are high-voltage networks connected to local distribution networks. The energy flow mainly going from plants to the consumers.

Renewable energy on the rise Smart Grids will continue to depend in part on nuclear and fossil power plants, but
includes a significant amount of energy storage and production facilities of renewable energy sources.

Not surprisingly, the major technology companies such as General Electric, Siemens, and Toshiba also dominate the area of ​​renewable sources. But there are many other companies in the wind and sun energy such as FirstSolar, Sharp and Vestas Wind that can benefit from smart grids. Consumers want reliable and cheap energy, but increasingly they want clean energy.

President Barack Obama in his message in January set a goal of 80% clean energy by 2035 although in its goal include nuclear energy and cleaner coal is included, it still has enough space for more renewable energy sources.

United States receive about 46% of its energy from coal, 21% from natural gas and 20% from nuclear energy. According to data from the federal government, renewable sources such as wind and sun make up less than 5% of total consumption.

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