Smart Grid: The Central Nervous System for Power Supply

New Paradigms, New Challenges, New Services

Size: 28 pages
Format: 21,0 x 29,7 cm
Publishing year: 2010
ISBN 978-3-7983-2216-5

In future power systems, a smart grid is expected to manage supply and demand of electricity efficiently. This article explores (1) the trends and challenges of today’s power system that trig-ger the development of smart grids, (2) the elements that may eventually constitute the smart grid and (3) the role a telcommunication provider may adopt in the emerging smart grid market. The trend towards an increasing share of renewable and distributed energy sources bears two major challenges: A lack of predictability and a lack of controllability of power generation. This article introduces four elements of a smart grid which address these challenges: virtual power plants, demand side management, control of power flow and storage and buffering. Finally, it is pointed out that in order to enhance the smart grid’s actual value, the elements have to be systemically integrated. It is argued that telecommunication providers are well positioned to adress the integration challenges as they have crucial experiences and capabilities: profound understanding of large IP networks, experiences in cloud computing, extensive service platform know-how and cooperation experience.