New forms of renewable energy like smart grids, energy storage, and flexible wind turbines are making renewables cheaper and more accessible. According to Renewables Grid Initiative and WindEurope, electricity infrastructure has to be extended in a smart way if they want to meet the European Union’s target of sourcing 35% of its energy from renewables by 2030.
Renewable energy companies and grid operators have to work a lot more closely together if they want to achieve these numbers. One of the main things that should be prioritized is electricity grids, which should be a focal point compared to gas grids, especially when it comes to money allocation. The software used to run power grids also has to be upgraded so that wind turbines can be toggled on and off whenever they’re needed.
One of our main takeaways is that governments have to be more transparent about their goals on how much renewable energy they plan to deploy after 2020 as part of their National Energy & Climate Plans. This will offer a lot more clarity for grid operators over infrastructure projects. An important step to establishing a strong framework for smart cities is transparency. When the community and citizens are provided the information needed to take action, there is great chance of them being proactive in creating change. This is something sorely needed from most government entities who are talking about smart cities and sustainability.
Smart grids seem to be an excellent approach to making our energy generation more efficient and clean, but how long do you think it’ll take before this form of energy becomes more commonplace? Places like Norway are already utilizing hydro-electricity to generate most of their power (about 98% of their power is generated through hydroelectricity). When will other countries begin to implement more renewable energy infrastructures? What is your city doing to kick things off?