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Energy Renewable Smart National 100% Clean Clean Plug-in
Efficiency Generation Grid Energy Cars
Elements to grid modernisation and expansion
The electricity transmission and distribution system, or power grid, of many nations is very old and in drastic need of an upgrade. In the United States, Its limitations and vulnerability to failure are also reported to cost the nation $80 billion to $188 billion per year in losses due to grid-related power outages and power quality issues.1 Renewable energy sources are not well supported by old power grids and they must be upgraded.
Updating a countries national power grid with advanced transmission will save money, increase reliability and protect consumers from outages, and make possible a clean electricity system. It will be near resistant to failure because all power stations in the entire country will all be linked to each other in the power grid. Electricity will be able to be moved efficiently from where it is generated to where it is required. For example, power can be transmitted from one corner of a nation rich in solar resources, to another which has hardly any sun light. Households that have generated excess electricity themselves will be able to sell it back to the grid for a profit.
Combination of the best of high voltage AC & DC power lines: Using advanced, high voltage lines, electricity can efficiently be moved across vast geographic distances with minimal losses and less vulnerability to failure. There are many places where such power lines can be placed - power lines can be above ground, buried underground, or even under freeway medians. These various locations should minimize or mitigate impacts on sensitive wildlife habitats, ecosystems, and other natural resources.
Meters that spin both ways: A unified national smart grid not only provides power, it accepts power. With a unified national smart grid, homes and businesses with solar panels on their roofs can act as a small utility company when they have excess power, meaning they can sell it back into the system.
Advanced Monitoring and Control: A unified national smart grid includes modern energy management tools that ensure the system operates smoothly. Energy can be transferred from one location to another when the demand is high there, such as at night when plug-in cars are being recharged. Systems like these ensure that power shortages are almost non-existent.
Demand Response and Management: A unified national smart grid will facilitate greater control of energy use by customers. Businesses and individuals will be able to see their energy usage in real-time, and not on a monthly bill. They will be able to see where exactly all their bills go and will be able to adjust to use less electricity.
Broad geographic distribution of wind and solar: A national grid, supported with storage technologies, helps to mitigate the intermittency of renewable energy sources like wind and solar Photovoltaic. If the wind speeds decline in one area, wind power is likely to still be available elsewhere. Seasonally, long days of sun in the summer and exceptionally strong winter wind in some regions complement each resource’s strengths.
Energy Storage: A unified national smart grid must also include energy storage. This means a combination of central and distributed storage technologies, such as thermal (e.g. working fluids in solar thermal plants), chemical (e.g. batteries, hydrogen), mechanical (e.g. compressed air, hydropower), plug-in cars, or other storage media. Some of these technologies are proven and have been in place for decades while others will enter the market at scale in the near-future, especially with policies in place that encourage commercialization.
Repower America (2008) Unified National Smart Grid [Online] (Date of update unknown)
Available at: http://www.repoweramerica.org/elements/unified-national-smart-grid/
[Accessed 1 February 2009]
James Balog, 2007, Mer De Glace Glacier[electronic image]
Available at: environment.nationalgeographic.com
Accessed 27 February 2009
Households and businesses with
solar panels can sell excess
electricity back to the system.
Power stations from around the
whole country will be linked
together, making power outages
Global warming compromises
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