It’s no secret that if nations want to meet the Net Zero emission targets set by international organizations by 2050, there’s a lot of work to be done. In the UK, one of the key initiatives aimed at reducing emissions and increasing energy efficiency is the development of the Smart Grid.

What Is the Smart Grid?

In 2014, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and industry regulator Ofgem first published their vision and routemap for the Smart Grid. In their extensive document, the organizations defined the Smart Grid as “a modernised electricity grid that uses information and communications technology to monitor and actively control generation and demand in near real-time, which provides a more reliable and cost-effective system for transporting electricity from generators to homes, business and industry.”

In other words, the Smart Grid applies the Internet of Things (IoT) to existing energy systems, operating with a connected network of smart meters, monitoring devices, and computers that conduct extensive data analysis to make the energy production and distribution process more efficient and sustainable.

The benefits of this are plentiful. For starters, it will reduce consumer costs by giving them more control over their energy usage and implementing a more efficient energy distribution model network-wide. A lower cost of energy also means that individuals can spend more at other businesses, and companies can invest in new jobs, strengthening the economy as a result. In addition, greater monitoring and control means that network companies can anticipate and identify problems faster, better managing supply and demand at a local level.

Setting a Path Forward

When the DECC and Ofgem set their vision for the Smart Grid, they also proposed a phased approach for making it happen. They outlined the need for smart gas and electricity meters (53 million, in (Read more...)