The incorporation of energy generated from renewable energy sources to the energy grid requires a better management of the Smart Grids and distributed energy. But, what do we mean when we talk about smart grids?
A smart grid is a power distribution system which evolves from a centralized system to a decentralized system. Consumers can become power generators with renewable energy sources and their consumption decisions or generation have a direct impact on the whole system. That’s why the key of the smart grids is the two-way communication between consumers and power generators, allowing to the system to constantly adapt energy delivery to the real needs of consumers at the best price.
The evolution towards these intelligent networks is driven by the need for optimally sizing the energy system, highly affected by demand peaks. Smart grids allow us to adopt behaviors that result in savings for the consumer and although orchestrated, better distribution of consumption results in lower costs of the electrical system.
Internet of Things (IoT) technology can help us on this matter. Smart meters, monitors, sensors that collects data, hubs processing the information and sending it to cloud platforms where this information is gathered. It allows us to evaluate the state of the network, availability of energy based on demand. The information provided anonymously permit to get conclusions about behavioral patterns that can be improved to achieve efficiency gains and optimum power delivery.
Home batteries can also be a key element to accommodate energy consumption schedules more favorable for the consumer and for the system as a whole.
Setting prices will logically affected by this decentralization, being the incentives orientated to a better participation in the system.