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. TheÂ so-called “Smart Grid” will save energy, reduce costs and increaseÂ 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.
TheÂ so-called “Smart Grid” will save energy, reduce costs and increaseÂ reliability of electricity delivery from suppliers to consumers using two-wayÂ communication that has the ability to control household appliances, electricÂ vehicle charging and the flow of electricity from renewable sources toÂ consumers’ homes.
MattÂ Wakefield, Head of smart grid project in the Electric Power Research InstituteÂ (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 findÂ the most efficient way to meet supply and demand.
To powerÂ the system of the future and to become a reality, EPRI believes that powerÂ companies must invest between 17 and 24 billion dollars per year over the nextÂ two decades. Most of these costs will be transferred to consumers.
ClarkÂ Gellings, EPRI’s member, believes that the consumers must be educated about theÂ power system network improvements that will result in reduced costs, even ifÂ they do not immediately see a reduction in the bills.
EPRIÂ estimates that by 2050 the average bill for electricity will increase by aboutÂ 50% if the smart network is operational, however on the other hand if the smartÂ grid is not implemented the energy bills could grow up to almost 400%.
Some ofÂ the biggest technology companies in the world, including the InternationalÂ Business Machines, General Electric, ABB, Siemens, Google, Toshiba, Cisco, andÂ Microsoft, compete with each other to achieve a smart network infrastructure.Â Last week, a Japanese multinational company Toshiba has agreed, for 2.3 billionÂ U.S. dollars to buy Swiss company for smart grid technology Landis + Gyr.
Meeting supply and demandÂ Large technologyÂ companies looking to produce devices and software packages necessary to theÂ production facility to communicate with equipment that uses electricity.
InÂ addition to major technology companies and various other companies related toÂ energy, renewable energy, household appliances and auto industry can use theÂ smart grid to interact with its consumers.
EnergyÂ traders, such as NRG and Consolidated Edison’s ConEdison Solutions, can useÂ smart network to achieve the best possible offers and other services.
ManufacturersÂ of home appliances such as Whirlpool and Haier Electronics can sell moreÂ efficient appliances, and car manufacturers such as Ford Motor and GeneralÂ Motors can use the smart grid to power their electric cars.
TheÂ current electricity network is not designed to meet the needs of theÂ restructuring of the electricity market, the increasing demands of a digitalÂ society, or the increased use of renewable energy sources.
TheÂ network now consists primarily of coal-fired power plants, nuclear and gasÂ power plants, which are high-voltage networks connected to local distributionÂ networks. The energy flow mainly going from plants to the consumers.
Renewable energy on the riseÂ Smart GridsÂ will continue to depend in part on nuclear and fossil power plants, but
includes a significant amount of energy storage and production facilities ofÂ renewable energy sources.
NotÂ surprisingly, the major technology companies such as General Electric, Siemens,Â and Toshiba also dominate the area of â€‹â€‹renewableÂ sources. But there are many other companies in the wind and sun energy such asÂ FirstSolar, Sharp and Vestas Wind that can benefit from smart grids. ConsumersÂ want reliable andÂ cheap energy, but increasingly they want clean energy.
PresidentÂ Barack Obama in his message in January set a goal of 80% clean energy by 2035 althoughÂ in its goal include nuclear energy and cleaner coal is included, it still hasÂ enough space for more renewable energy sources.
UnitedÂ States receive about 46% of its energy from coal, 21% from natural gas and 20%Â from nuclear energy. According to data from the federal government, renewableÂ sources such as wind and sun make up less than 5% of total consumption.