Smart grids were suppose to come to the energy rescue a long time ago.
In the future, our vehicles and homes will be in constant conversation with the power grid. Solar UFABET panels will say how much energy they have on hand, while electric vehicles will share information about when and where they’re charging and how much juice they need for their travels. Solar and EV batteries might even offer up the energy they’re storing in case it’s needed elsewhere.
“You just plug it in, and somehow it automatically talks to its nearest neighbors,” explains Ben Kroposki, a director at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. “[It] says, ‘Hey, I just want to let you know I’m out here. I can provide these kinds of services back.’”
But electricity grids still have a long way to go to get “smart.”
After years of underinvestment, there’s renewed hope that long-awaited smart grids might actually come to fruition. President Joe Biden can’t reach his goal of getting the power sector to run on 100 percent clean energy by 2035 without a smarter grid. And grids can’t get smarter without the kind of urgency that Biden has injected into overhauling America’s infrastructure.
“This probably is the most exciting time in the power system history in the last 50 years,” Kroposki says.
While Biden’s clean energy goals are vital for staving off a deeper climate crisis, the plan has exposed some weaknesses in our current grid system that a smart grid could help solve. For starters, old grids were built to accommodate a constant flow of electricity; power plants can ramp generation up and down at will to deliver as much energy as people demand.
Wind and solar power aren’t so consistent.
Obama’s initial investments spurred the adoption of smart meters in the US.