What is a Smart Grid?
The Smart Grid is an evolution of the existing electricity grid with added monitoring, analysis, control and communication capability to maximize the efficiency of the electricity system. The Smart Grid will allow the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity around the system as efficiently as possible. It will also empower the consumer use electricity as economically as possible. The “Smart” bit of the system provides choice and flexibility to manage your electrical use while minimizing your costs.
The European Technology Platform SmartGrids, which is supported by the European Commission, defines Smart Grids as “electricity networks that can intelligently integrate the behaviour and actions of all users connected to it - generators, consumers and those that do both – in order to efficiently deliver sustainable, economic and secure electricity supplies".
A Smart Grid employs innovative products and services together with intelligent monitoring, control, communication, and self-healing technologies in order to:
- Better facilitate the connection and operation of generators of all sizes and technologies.
- Allow consumers to play a part in optimising the operation of the system.
- Provide consumers with greater information and options for choice of supply.
- Significantly reduce the environmental impact of the whole electricity supply system.
- Improve the levels of system reliability, quality and security of supply.
- Maintain and improve the existing services efficiently.
- Foster market integration towards European integrated market.”
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