In order to maximize the efficiency of power distribution in the United States we need to build a high technology smart energy grid and the creation of this grid should be part of our the US energy policy. There are so many advantages to building this new smart grid, that I would recommend some kind of a catalyst for implementing the specification phase of this project as soon as possible.
One of the most important reasons for building such a grid is to secure our electrical grid form foreign attack and domestic terrorism. The current grid is vulnerable to both physical and cyber attacks. If an enemy, could disrupt the energy output from a few key power generating facilities in a coordinated and timed attack, they could initiate a rolling black out that could bring down large sectors of our electrical grid. The smart grid would prevent this possibility in the same way that that DARPA net minimized the threat of losing defense communications during a potential attack on our country. This is accomplished by intelligent switching stations, that can reroute power, in real time, to prevent rolling black outs if and when part of the grid were to crash. Using the same methodology, power transmission could be stabilized and routed to critical facilities during an emergency.
The second major reason and advantage for building the smart energy grid is that the smart grid can save a great amount of energy cost by minimizing the need and usage of peak time power generation facilities. Prolonged heat waves, for example, can result in an excessive power demands from the overheated portions of the country. In a case like this, the unexpected demand for air conditioning would create a peak demand situation where grid power would have to be supplemented by peek power generation facilities. The smart grid reduces the need for peak power by routing power, in real time, from locations where the energy demand is less then the their normal everyday power requirements. The smart grid would also allow for the buying, borrowing, selling or lending energy with our friends such as Canada to help accommodate energy demand fluctuations. The overall result would be less energy generated and fewer peak power stations for any given energy demand requirement.
My third reason for recommending the smart grid is the acceleration of green energy development. This concept would allow the intelligent advancement of of alternative energy development and implementation without the need of forcing these new technologies onto the energy marketplace. The smart grid would have the potential to allow private sector and consumer energy users to sell power back to the grid in real time. The energy user would install a smart grid certified device at their location that would hook up to their computer (or dedicated smart user interface ) and their electrical system. This interface would allow electricity users to negotiate an arrangement for selling surplus power to the grid. Incentives to energy users might be used to encourage the purchase of clean renewable energy generation hardware that would be connected to the smart grid. I am going to further develop this concept of advancing clean energy technology through a smart grid interface in my upcoming articles on alternative energy.
In conclusion, the design and implementation of a smart energy grid would advance the economy of energy distribution by improving efficiency, integration and security within our nations energy operations.