11 months ago

Climate Action 2009-2010

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© tom.arthur/Flickr ENERGY Small units operated by remote radio signal such as the Southern California Edison are attached to air conditioners to prevent the grid from destructing and conserve energy during energy emergencies. an estimated 6.6 per cent of its electrical power in transmission over an antiquated power grid that has suffered from blackouts and the collapse of power lines during snowstorms. This year, China has begun a decade long smart grid project, with estimated investments over this period of up to $100 billion dollars, to improve transmission efficiency, reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases, and incorporate renewable power sources. With the State Grid Corp. of China taking the lead, planning is underway and technical standards are being developed. INDIA: A MASSIVE UPGRADE As India’s economy and population continue to grow, the government is increasing the country’s electrical generation capacity by 100,000 megawatts by 2012 and modernising the power grid. India will be investing $50 billion in generation and an equal amount in transmission, distribution and rural electrification. In order to make the grid smarter as well as larger, Indian cabinet ministers recently visited China and South Korea (which just recently announced ambitious plans to become the first smart grid nation in the world), seeking investment and technical assistance. SMART GRIDS 124 Smart grid development is moving forward at the local and state levels as well. As cited in the 2008 Electricity Advisory Committee’s report entitled ‘Smart Grid: Enabler of the New Energy Economy,’ Austin Energy’s Smart Grid initiative started out as an enterprise architecture program, followed by an effort to redefine the company’s business process using service-oriented architecture (SOA). Austin went on to enable consumer choice through different demand response/load management, distributed generation and renewable energy programs. These programs saved Austin Energy operational costs, allowing the utility to fund investment in new technologies at no extra cost to consumers. In 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved $1.63 billion in funding from ratepayers for Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) smart metering program, Edison SmartConnect. SCE will install 5.3 million new smart meters for its residential and smallbusiness customers from 2009 until 2012. SCE has also designed and deployed its own neighborhood electricity circuit which delivers power to 1,400 customers. Similarly, the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) approved plans from Oncor and CenterPoint Energy for the deployment of more than 3 million and 2.4 million smart meters, respectively, across their service territories. PROGRESS WORLDWIDE Often on a larger scale than in the US, efforts to realise the smart grid are underway throughout the world. Currently, most of China’s electricity is produced by coal-fired stations – the power source that causes the most carbon emissions. China wants to reduce air pollution by increasing the share of its electrical power that comes from renewable sources to 15 per cent by 2020 by which time China’s total demand for electrical power is expected to double. Last year, the nation lost AUSTRALIA: SMART GRID, SMART ENGINEERS Australia’s national government is investing an additional $3.5 billion, on top of the $1 billion that it has already allocated, for its clean energy initiative. An important element of this program is developing a smart grid energy network that will combine broadband with intelligent grid technology and smart meters in private homes. This will allow for more use of wind and solar power. The government is looking to fast-track the implementation of renewable energy and encourage all participants by accelerating development projects through this stimulus package. Because this effort requires a skilled workforce, a utility has launched a partnership with two universities to investigate smart grid development and train the next generation of power engineers. Illustrating the opportunities: the smart grid as enabling engine. Source: The Smart Grid, An Introduction. Prepared for the U.S. Department of Energy by Litos Strategic Communication. VISIT: WWW.CLIMATEACTIONPROGRAMME.ORG

ENERGY Source: Engage Consulting project team at the Energy Retail Association, UK. EUROPE: THINKING REGIONALLY In Europe, actions are being taken both in countries and on the European Union level. Building on the success of some of the regional grids such as ‘Nord pool’ to handle the intermittency of wind generation, the European Commission has released a ‘green paper’ presenting a 20-year strategy for secure and sustainable energy. The paper recommends a grid code, an interconnection plan and new construction. It invites further ideas about the issues of supply, delivery and end use and about how to reduce emissions contributing to climate change. As well as strengthening inter-country connections, this new European grid will also have connections to Asia and Africa and will manage and distribute energy increasingly coming from renewable sources. While the sun is shining in Spain or the wind blowing in Denmark, excess renewable energy can be sent to other countries to supplement or replace base load coal production. CONCLUSION All across the world, governments, businesses, educators and concerned citizens understand that modernising electric power grids is essential for growing their economies, conserving energy and preserving a planet whose climate and atmosphere are imperiled by emissions of greenhouse gases from old-fashioned power generators. The ‘smart grid’ is no longer just a smart idea – it’s a necessity. Author Guido Bartels serves as Chairman of the GridWise ® Alliance, a leading advocacy group of private and public companies who are supporting a national imperative for modernizing the electric system of North America. Bartels is also a member of the US Department of Energy’s Electricity Advisory Committee (EAC), a 30-member group representing some of the country’s top public and private sector electricity and energy policy leaders. As a member of the EAC and as Chairman of its Smart-Grid subcommittee, Bartels will help the DOE to meet the smart-grid related requirements of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Organization The GridWise Alliance, founded in 2003, is a consortium of public and private stakeholders which include utilities, IT companies, equipment vendors, new technology providers and academic institutions. The Alliance members are aligned around a shared vision of a smarter electric system that integrates the infrastructure, processes, devices, information, and market structure. This integration will ensure that energy can be generated, distributed, and consumed more efficiently and cost effectively resulting in a more resilient, secure and reliable energy system. Enquiries The GridWise Alliance 1155 15th Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005 Tel: +1 (202) 530-9740 | Fax: +1 (202) 530-0659 Email: Website: SMART GRIDS 125 VISIT: WWW.CLIMATEACTIONPROGRAMME.ORG