Business Development

Introduction: A smart Grid is the path to clean, efficient and more reliable energy. It is a major transformation of the electric grid. Realizing its vast potential requires innovation and engagement from various industry leaders, from provincial and federal government, and from our communities. Smart grid describes the application of digital technologies to the existing electrical grid.

These changes to today’s electricity networks can reduce outages, deliver power more efficiently and allow consumers to manage their electricity use with in-home displays and other technologies. The Smart Grid allows utilities to distribute conventional and renewable power to consumers more efficiently, reliably, safely and economically. It integrates two-way digital communication technology that analyzes, monitors and streamlines the system to maximize throughput, while promoting and enabling a reduction of overall energy consumption. It also has different goals for various stakeholders.

Utilities: Smart Grid marks a crucial transformation to modern, intelligent and highly accurate performance. Governments: Smart Grid means achieving energy and environmental goals. Businesses: Smart Grid presents growing opportunity for innovation, development and deployment of leading-edge technologies and products, while capturing emerging opportunities in domestic and international markets to advance Canada’s Smart Grid infrastructure. Canadians: Smart Grid provides job opportunities, energy savings, environmental stewardship and global leadership.

If we want to give an extra information ,President and CEO of the Independent Electricity System Operator (IESO) think like that“Smart grids offer so many options for consumers ,detailed consumption information, more efficient appliances, in-home generation and electric cars, for example. All these opportunities can provide many benefits to the consumer and the system as a whole.” Canada is the fifth largest producer of energy in the world and exports approximately 51 gigawatt hours to the U.S. each year but smart grids can increase the export of energy from Canada with usage of green sources. Question1:

How the smart grids differ from the current electricity infrastructure in Canada ? Current electricity infrastructure is old and inefficient. The companies provide the electricity to consumers but grids don’t indicate about how the consumers use the energy and grids use the critical components of going green.

But in smart grids deliver electricity companies to consumer using digital technology to save energy, reduce cost, increase reliability and transparency. Also a smart grid give chance to consumers to making a daily plan to use cheaper energy especıally the peak time usage and high use electrical appliances. Another advantage of smart grids is their ability to detect sources of power outages. It is a time save to find section the problem in the system. Also a smart grid provide to use alternative “ green” energy (solar energy) for daily usage of consumers. Question2:

What management,organization and technology issues should be considered when developing a smart grid ? Smart Grids seem to be the way of the future when it comes to energy conservation, but there are many hurdles to overcome. Strictly from a technology point of view there are many updates that need to take place, two-way meters (smart meters) need to be installed at every location that is going to be part of the grid and user-friendly intuitive software for consumers to use to monitor their usage (Laudon et al. pg. 30).

Along with the new technology users need to be trained and educated on what information is being sent between their home and the energy company as well as how to use the software that will be installed in their homes (Smart Grid Initiative). One of the biggest obstacles in management and implementation revolves around providing information and education on the changes to take place. Basically there is a large discourse in knowledge and understanding between the providers and the stakeholders.

One way that this has been addressed by some jurisdictions is through public information sessions that extend beyond typical litigations to make the information more accessible (Smart Grid Initiative). The consumers themselves need training on using the new system and need to receive the complete information on the topic. As a Texas consumer points out, all that is really required is that energy users make adjustments on their own (Laudon et al. pg. 30). Another issue present, particularly in the United States, is that current utility regulatory systems tend to discourage updating the system with products that intend to be innovative or change the existing system.

Some states have successfully modified their systems to be compatible with the smart grid system, which includes California, Oregon, Texas and New York (Smart Grid Initiative). Before taking all these steps it must first be decided if all states (provinces) must participate in this new energy system. The US Congress has made it a policy that the US will support the modernization of its electric grid with a smart grid, though some states have approved policies to begin updating and several states are considering updating, most states have not made changes or considerations to change to their existing systems (Smart Grid Initiative).

In any business the customer is always right, so the consumer here presents two more challenges to implementing the new system. First are privacy concerns. With the installation of two way meters in their homes appliances can be controlled and regulated by energy companies (Laudon et al. pg. 30,), which creates an atmosphere that “Big Brother” is really watching your every step. In reality it seems almost as if the consumer will give up control of use of their appliances as their need arises. With this increasingly networked society, adding more data transfer between home and supplier can only create more fear of “hacking” and “cyber attacks” (Laudon et al. pg. 30).

The second concern for the consumer is how much will it cost? Not only that, but who will foot the bill? Some consumer advocates are willing to fight smart grids if energy rates will increase for those who are unable or unwilling to participate in the new system (Laudon, et al. pg. 30). Activists in the state of Illinois asked, “What are the costs and benefits of using smart grid technologies?” And furthermore, “how will these costs and benefits be transferred to the consumer?” (Smart Grid Initiative).

The consumer worries who will pay the upfront fees of changing the meters, and if it is the consumer then how long will it take for his investment to pay off and he can start saving on his electricity bill. On a final note it is not certain if energy companies will collaborate. If the smart grid system is aimed at decreasing energy usage, then these companies will lose money as less of their product will be used (Laudon, et al. pg. 30). Governments will have to create new incentives for these companies to cooperate. Alternative energy companies could become more popular, and mergers between traditional energy companies and alternative energy companies could pave the way for the future. Question3:

What challenge to the development of smart grids do you think is most likely to hamper their development ? In terms of developing the smart grids, there are several challenges which could hamper this development. These challenges are cost, high-tech, privacy, and security. First, if we use the smart grids, the electricity company should change the old electricity infrastructure totally. This is not a cheap process. The company needs offer each household the smart meters including the dashboard which is very expensive device.

Moreover, these devices are very high-tech, so the company has to hire engineers to give each household a training. Furthermore, when some smart utilities are broken, people have to change new devices which are probably not free. Second, these devices which are used in smart grids are very high-tech. Therefore, for some women and old people, they probably do not know how to use them. As the case said, they may be confused when they are facing the high-technology. Third, privacy is also a big challenge when we considering the smart grids.

The detailed information is collected by the electricity company. By using the example in the case, Xcel employees can know how much electricity the Peterson’s car is using on the road. The last one is security, when people can not assure their privacy, they actually put themselves in a very dangerous position. For example, they may know if there is any people in a house by looking at the electricity consumption. If bad people get the information leakage, some bad things may happen. With the full consideration of these four challenges, i think the most important challenge is the cost, because the other three issues could be solved somewhat if there is a solid finial support.

Question4: What other areas of our infrastructure could benefit from “ smart “ technologies ? Describe one example not listed in the case. A) Placing of cameras in each rooms so that medical staff can visually monitor patients.

B) Providing of smart beds: the beds will have a built in alarm system that sounds off when a patient is at risk of falling. The bed will also be designed in a way it can weigh the patient automatically and help determine drug usage.

C) Connection of medical device to electronic medical records: Doctors, nurses and patient are able to view clinical data in real time including things like temp retire and other vital sign. Question5: Would you like your home and your community to be part of a smart grid ? Why or why not ? Explain. My home will be part of smart grid reasons:

The smart grid will make use of technologies that will help to detect fault and allows self healing of network without the intervention of a technician. This will ensure more reliable supply of electricity and reduce vulnerability to disaster.

It will also allows load shifting and peak demand reduction allowing for reduced spending for the consumer.

The smart grid will also reduce the monthly electricity bill, because you will only pay for what you use. Recommendation: Smart meters :

The traditional way is that a worker come to people’s home to read how much electricity they have used so far. Moreover, the grids have no idea about the data. However, if people use the smart meters, the grids can know how much people have consumed electricity exactly. As we know from the case, people need to pay more money when their electrical utilities work during the peak demand period. Therefore, if the smart meters can control household’s electrical utilities’ working time, it could help household to save more money. Policy:

A lack of federal policy is also a very important issue in terms of the development of smart grids in Canada. A good policy could raise people’s awareness, and help to improve smart grids better. “For us to keep the low cost of power we have, we need to get more efficient about how we use it. There are good opportunities nationally at a federal-government level to encourage that economic development and export of electricity.” (http://www.backbonemag.com/Magazine/2011-05/how-smart-is-canadas-smart-grid.aspx)

Moreover, in Canada, we have a series of grids which are in different provinces. We also need a policy can connect these different grids to be a big smart grid. It would be easier to control for the government. Information Management:

When people are using the smart grids, the electricity company will collect all the information from each household. It is not a easy thing to deal with so much information at the same time. Therefore, we should have a strong information management system. There are two points should be considered in the information management system, accuracy and privacy. First, we need to make sure those information is correct during its transinformation.

Then, we can make right decisions on the price of electricity and households’ payment. The second consideration is privacy. Because the detailed information is collected by the smart grids, they are responsible for keep this information safe. Canadian Smart Grid Standards Roadmap:

A Smart Grid is the path to clean, efficient and more reliable energy. It is a major transformation of the electric grid. Realizing its vast potential requires innovation and engagement from various industry leaders, from provincial and federal government, and from our communities. The Smart Grid allows utilities to distribute conventional and renewable power to consumers more efficiently, reliably, safely and economically. It integrates two-way digital communication technology that analyzes, monitors and streamlines the system to maximize throughput, while promoting and enabling a reduction of overall energy consumption. It also has different goals for various stakeholders.

References: http://www.backbonemag.com/Magazine/2011-05/how-smart-is-canadas-smart-grid.aspx sgcanada.org en.wikipedia.org/wiki/smart_grid