Here’s a quick snippet from an interesting article published in GreenGoPost with a nuanced view on smart grid tech:
“Do you know where your electricity comes from? In most cases, the answer is probably no. Which is pretty strange if you think about it given the amount of energy we consume on a daily basis. From your morning toast and espresso to your evening Netflix binge, we use electricity virtually every minute of every day yet few of us understand the major uses of energy in our homes and businesses either. Why does this matter? When scientists and global leaders say we need to take carbon emissions out of our electricity sector, this communication becomes pretty darn important.
As compared to other commodities, electricity is the fastest moving supply chain traveling at 1,800 miles per second. Electricity, for the most part, is produced, delivered, and consumed nearly instantaneously. In order to manage energy demand during those hot summer days requires the grid to be sized to manage the highest peak usage of the year. An overbuilt grid yields system inefficiencies, under-utilization of assets, and a higher cost to ratepayers. This can be seen in the highly variable hourly electricity costs in New England. Over the past 3 years (from 2013 to 2015) the top 1% most expensive hours, during July and August, accounted for 8% of Massachusetts ratepayers’ annual spending on electricity. The top 10% of hours during these years accounted for roughly 40% of annual spending.
The inefficiencies in our current centralized electrical grid have led to both increased costs and more fossil fuel consumption. As demand goes up, less efficient generators are called on to serve excess demand. By reducing demand during these periods, the system and market could avoid using dirty electricity generation. What if there was a way for customers to take more control of their energy consumption during these times of peak demand?
Serious development and deployment of new grid technologies has the potential of mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increasing resiliency to extreme weather events and climate change. Climate Action Business Association has developed a new series of reports, Local Emerging Market Reports to offer a spotlight on a collection of quickly growing industries from throughout Massachusetts that are transforming the business-as-usual. From smart grids, microgrids, and electric vehicle grids to distributed generation and energy storage, Massachusetts is seeing growing investment in infrastructure that can redefine how we bring power into our businesses and homes.”