A "smart grid" is an electrical grid which includes a variety of operational and energy measures including smart meters, smart appliances, renewable energy resources, and energy efficiency resources.
The benefits associated with the Smart Grid include:
- More efficient transmission of electricity
- Quicker restoration of electricity after power disturbances
- Reduced operations and management costs for utilities, and ultimately lower power costs for consumers
- Reduced peak demand, which will also help lower electricity rates
- Increased integration of large-scale renewable energy systems
- Better integration of customer-owner power generation systems, including renewable energy systems
- Improved security
To develop smart grids, in the long run we need new, faster and more secure forms of data exchange than available in the current networks.
5G Technology enables Smart Grid new business models
There is a complex web of interactions between the electricity smart grid and the communications networks, each one in need of the other. The smart grid becomes more flexible and efficient but critically depends on the availability of high-quality data collection, transmission and analysis for operations and marketing. All this results in a customer-centered industry, possibly a shared economy for electric power. 5G features are expected to contribute to the smart grid new business models enablement.
The Smart Grid will consist of millions of pieces and parts—controls, computers, power lines, and new technologies and equipment. It will take some time for all the technologies to be perfected, equipment installed, and systems tested before it comes fully on line. And it won’t happen all at once—the Smart Grid is evolving, piece by piece, over the next decade or so. Once mature, the Smart Grid will likely bring the same kind of transformation that the Internet has already brought to the way we live, work, play, and learn.