The city of the future will be self-aware, much like a second being. These cities will be able to reconfigure themselves, based on what’s happening, and what might happen, in the immediate future. A global perception exists that our cities can benefit from technology advances, as so many products and services have, and these in turn can help answer the growing challenges of resource management, economics constraints, and social issues they are facing.
When is electricity like money? The answer might be when you think of the smart grid as a debit card, complete with fees. That’s because the grid is rapidly becoming a bank for energy, something it was not designed to be. The banking capability of the grid will make a huge difference for people in the future as distributed energy resources (DER) become more important. In this discussion our units will not be dollars, but rather Kilowatt hours (KWh).
The rapid growth of the market for hybrid and pure electric vehicles (xEV) presents a new challenge on how to manage used EV batteries (Li-ion or NiMH) after they are no longer employed inside vehicles. Can “retired” batteries be utilized in other less demanding applications before they are disposed of? The answer may lie within emerging microgrids.
The grid is becoming smarter as the nature of energy generation is changing. Small scale solar installations, as well as utility-scale wind and solar farms, have begun to complement large coal, gas, and oil-fired power plants. But the energy revolution of the 21st Century isn't just about new fuels and localized energy generation; it's also about the changing role of utility companies, their employees, and the consumers’ interactions with utilities. In other words, the grid is being turned inside out not only by new sources of energy, but also by new ways of deploying and using energy.