CleanTX Analysis on the Smart Grid
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The utility industry in the United States has an opportunity to revolutionize its electric grid system by utilizing emerging software, hardware and wireless technologies and renewable energy sources. As electricity generation in the U.S. increases by over 30% from today’s generation of 4,100 Terawatt hours per year to a production of 5,400 Terawatt hours per year by 2030, a new type of grid is necessary to ensure reliable and quality power. The projected U.S. population increase and economic growth will require a grid that can transmit and distribute significantly more power than it does today. Known as a Smart Grid, this system enables two- way transmission of electrons and information to create a demand-response system that will optimize electricity delivery to consumers. This paper outlines the issues with the current grid infrastructure, discusses the economic advantages of the Smart Grid for both consumers and utilities, and examines the emerging technologies that will enable cleaner, more efficient and cost- effective power transmission and consumption.