New technology that allows data to be transmitted through electricity cables has been successfully tested on the UK’s national grid and this is big news for renewables!
The data system, created by Reactive Technologies, uses telecoms technology to sent messages through national grid electricity cables to appliances with smart plugs connected to the mains and requests they adjust it’s energy usage – yes, you read that correctly, we now have fridges and kettles that can talk!
But this “smart grid” concept isn’t just a gadget, it could mean serious business for renewable energy generators. In the UK centralised fossil-fuel power stations are being replaced by decentralised renewable energy and current infrastructure struggles to use this clean energy which is fed on to the grid – a smart grid could anticipate extra power generation and find an appliance who could use it, for example, a smart water heater could be turned on at 1am to utilise spare renewable energy.
As well as supporting growth in the renewable energy sector, the kind of flexibility that a smart grid provides could reduce peaks in energy use and end the need for new gas, nuclear or polluting diesel generator plants being constructed to meet short term supply.