Traditional “grid technology” – that is, the system currently used in the transmission and distribution of electricity – is beginning to take shape for the future. Researchers are developing smart grid technologies to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 211 million metric tons. The smart grid of the future will be far more reliable than the traditional grid. Investors are pouring money into the power grid industry which is expected to be valued at more than $400 billion in 2020.
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So, what is a “smart grid”? It is a modern power generation and distribution infrastructure capable of automating and managing our increasing complex needs for electricity. A smart grid supports and integrates renewable energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind and geothermal. Consumers are empowered by a smart grid with real-time information about their energy consumption.
The United States is home to 77% of the top 150 smart grid technology vendors in the world. The USDOE has calculated internal modernization of U.S. grids with smart grid capabilities will save between $46 and $177B over the next 20 years, or about $600 annually to the average consumer. Electrical contractors working in the smart grid markets will help provide savings equivalent to powering a refrigerator for 199 million years, the city of Las Vegas 207 times over, or to cool 378 million homes.
NECA Technology – the Project for Applied and Disruptive Technology, explores the world of technology and keeps members informed of what’s happening today, and of what will be launched in the not-too-distant future. Dr. Joey Shorter has an extensive background in education and experience in translating the work of academics into understandable, practical ideas.