Smart Grid’s Next Frontiers

It’s a truism in the smart grid industry that all of the disparate technologies that fall under the categories of smart meters, distribution automation, generation and transmission control systems, high-speed communications networks, and the rest will someday link into a bigger, smarter whole. But to what end?

A new survey, commissioned by IEEE and conducted by Zpryme, takes a crack at answering that question for three key technologies – energy storage, microgrids, and distributed generation technologies like wind, solar and onsite power.

Zpryme surveyed 460 energy industry executives from around the world, and came out with a lot of conclusions. Some are more predictable than others: to no one’s surprise, smart grid executives want to increase public- and private-sector funding for smart grid research and development.

On the microgrid front, while the military has been a big backer of the technology, it turns out that smart grid execs see hospitals and health care as even bigger future customers, according to the survey. That makes sense, of course — hospitals have required constant backup power for decades to maintain critical life support systems, making them natural candidates for microgrid-like systems.

For grid-scale energy storage, the key barrier remains high cost, according to two-thirds of survey respondents. Traditional pumped hydro projects, while efficient, cost billions and are limited to convenient canyons and rivers that can be dammed. Batteries, in the meantime, are still quite expensive compared to just bringing more power to the grid, although they can pencil out in key uses, like relieving stressed-out grid corridors that would otherwise need to be upgraded.

The last category, distributed generation, bears close watching, because it’s a category that’s far less under the sway of utility control. Whether via mandate or free-market forces, utilities are seeing more and more intermittent wind and solar power resources being linked to their grids — and being asked to handle that unpredictable, potentially destabilizing flow of power.

Source and Read More  

If you want to know more about this and other topics directly from end users of energy storage technologies join us at one of these annual events: The Energy Storage World Forum (Grid Scale Applications), or The Residential Energy Storage Forum, or one of our Training Courses.

LATEST ARTICLES

Ultracapacitor UPS (U-UPS) for voltage dips and micro-interruptions

Power interruptions are the most frequent power supply problems with wide-ranging consequences for industry. The causes of these interruptions include short-circuits in the distribution grid, lightning strikes, the connection and disconnection of power plants as well as volatile energy producers such as wind and solar. Because technologies and production processes are becoming increasingly complex, the…

Read More

Product Development: Embracing product safety and compliance

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: EMBRACING PRODUCT SAFETY AND COMPLIANCE Recent safety incidents on storage plants have raised concerns about the fire safety of battery storage systems. Such events are extremely rare compared to the cumulated global deployments of energy storage systems, which have reached more than 27 GWh by end of 2020 (Wood Mackenzie 2021). However, for…

Read More

★REVIEWS

“Probably the most interactive and well organized storage event on the calendar.”

★★★★★

Sales Director, S&C

“Great topics, competent speakers, good networking: keep it like that.”

★★★★★

TLC & SCADA Manager, FRI-EL

“High scientific content, well targeted, perfect organization.”

★★★★★

Expert Technical & Governance, Elia

Excellent networking event. The sponsorship was well worth it.”

★★★★★

Manager, ATL

View More

x