A Special Issue: The Paris Climate Agreement and the Role of the Smart Grid
By Panos Moutis
In December 2015, nearly 200 countries came together in Paris, France to agree on further promoting practices that reduce emissions resulting from the energy, building and industry sectors. This agreement is one of the many regional and international ones that have been elaborated on throughout the years. One may recall the Kyoto protocol, the European directives at the dawn of the 21st century, the 2015 plan of the Indian government to heavily promote renewables (as covered in the May issue of the Newsletter) and others. All of them marked clearly one common point: the center stage role that the smart grid needs to play to accommodate all these disruptive upgrades in the aforementioned sectors.
By Soheil Mohseni and Alan Brent
Nearly 200 countries met in Paris in December 2015 and agreed on aligning their energy portfolios to the global greenhouse gas emission reduction goals. However, without using cutting-edge technology, the countries may not reach the sustainable development goals set by the Paris Agreement. Although there is no penalty for countries that fall short of the promised target, this will definitely have a negative consequence on the collective efforts to address the climate change challenge. Smart grid technologies will offer ways to integrate the renewable energy sources and to promote demand-side management programs. However, due to the high level of risk associated with green energy investments, it is essential to consider several factors in the planning phase of the sustainable energy systems in the smart grid milieu.
By Mike Voll
Local and national Green House Gas (GHG) reduction plans can only be achieved if we harness high penetration levels of renewable energy. Given the variable nature of wind and solar, reliable dependence on this type of energy requires the use of energy storage and microgrids. Stantec is developing a microgrid concept where a small commercial community can participate in a microgrid to provide resiliency, energy cost reduction and energy cost certainty in a setting that could be replicated across North America and beyond. Current energy regulations in North America are evolving to accommodate more self-generation, however, few policies exist that allow communities to generate and share energy in a meaningful and economic way. The concept would allow a more fitting sizing of the Distributed Energy Resources (DER), such that the entire community, rather than just the host facility, can share in the benefits, thus supporting the wider deployment of DERs and achieving larger GHG reductions as per the guidelines of the Paris Climate Agreement.
By Steve Widergren
As machines and automated systems are integrated into our society, interoperability becomes a necessary capability of systems and devices to provide and receive services and information between each other, and to use the services and information exchanged to operate effectively together in predictable ways without significant user intervention. When people talk about the “modern” or “smart” grid, the ease of integration that delivers interoperability is a necessary foundation of that concept. Many regions are experiencing a growing need to deploy smart grid technology to address efficient operation and new challenges to grid operations based on changing demands of business and society often spurred by ambitious environmental policy goals that further emphasize the value of interoperability.
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