Power outages are a big problem for businesses. Even just a few seconds without electricity can lead to loss of customers and interruptions in factory output. It’s a disaster.
But changing technology in energy distribution looks set to change all that. The “smart grid,” as commentators call it, is a new type of grid that uses digital technology to become more robust. The idea is to protect both businesses and homeowners from the outages frequent in the traditional system while at the same time providing support for renewables.
The nature of the grid is changing. It’s no longer a matter of a few large companies operating giant power plants that supply homes and businesses in the local area. More and more, we’re seeing firms and homeowners themselves installing renewable energy solutions, like solar panels, and supplying electricity to the grid themselves. The primary utility providers need a network that can smartly manage flows generated by smaller entities and deliver a consistent energy demand in real-time. It’s a challenge.
Fortunately, thanks to the power of technologies, such as machine learning, it’s becoming a real possibility. Algorithms that can process data in real-time and then adjust electricity generation output are essential in the fight to make the grid more reliable and eco-friendly. What we ideally want is a situation where businesses can generate their own power and then sell the excess to other people on the grid.
Check out the following infographic. It shows how the market for smart grid tech is booming.
Infographic by University of California – Riverside