As an emerging industry globally, smart grid includes many fresh and vital technologies that are needed to make enormous progress in power grid development. A smart grid sends electricity from power suppliers to end users using digital technology to save energy and increase reliability. This modernized electricity network is being promoted by some governments as a way of addressing energy independence or environment issues. The smart grid is a disparate set of goals including facilitating better competition between suppliers; enabling better use of different energy sources; and setting up the automation and monitoring abilities needed for grid at cross continent.
To reduce power demand during peak usage periods, communications and metering technologies inform smart devices in the house, factory or business building when energy demand is high and track how much electricity is used and when it is used. Electricity price increases during peak usage periods, and decreases during low demand periods. The end user will tend to consume less during peak usage periods if it is made possible for users and user devices to be familiar with the high price premium for using electricity at peak periods. When end users see a direct economic profit to become more energy efficient, it is more likely that they will make wise decisions on consumption.
Based on the United States Department of Energy’s Modern Grid Initiative report, a smart grid should be able to heal itself; motivate consumers to actively participate in operations of the grid; resist attack; provide power of a higher quality that will save money wasted due to power blackouts; accommodate all generation and storage options; and enable electricity markets to flourish.
In China, The Eastern China Grid Corporation, a subsidiary company of the State Grid Corp of China SGCC, started a feasibility research on “smart grid” technology in October 2007. Zhenya Liu, General Manager of the State Grid Corp of China SGCC, China’s largest power grid builder, met with the Minister of Energy of the United States on April 24, 2009. Liu said that “the SGCC is constructing Ultra high and extra high voltage direct current +/-800KV, +/-500KV and alternating current transmission system 1000kV, 500kV, 220kV, and coordinating the development of a smart grid based on information technology and automation technology.”
Known as the largest utility in the world, the SGCC serves 26 provinces and 1.08 billion people throughout China. The SGCC released that it is speeding up the construction of the power network on May 7, 2009.