In today's feature How Technology Can Help Us Beat the Heat Without Crippling the Grid, we discussed how different clean technologies can let us keep cool without increasing our demands on the grid. Along with renewable sources of energy, smart grid technologies are the most important part of making our grid more efficient and reliable.
To give you a better idea of just how much smart grid technologies can alleviate strain on the grid, Greentech Media reports that estimates from the World Energy Council, IBM and others conclude that smart grid technologies could cut peak power demand by up to 20 percent.
That significantly cuts the amount of power plants that utilities or regions have to build over the coming decades and, ideally, gives renewable energy generation time to grow and cover increasing demand instead of fossil fuels. A study by Black & Veatch predicts that 61,000 MW-worth of coal-fired power plants are set to retire between now and 2020 and if smart grid technologies like smart meters, smart thermostats and demand response systems are deployed efficiently in that time frame, renewable energy sources will have a better chance of taking their place.
Smart grid technologies have so many benefits. They save energy, which saves customers and utilities money and they also provide us all with a better-operating and responsive electrical grid. For the record-setting heat this summer and beyond, smart grid technologies are the best way forward.