There exist a myriad of definitions out in the information hemisphere regarding how to define Green Technology. Many are valid but specifically defined to whatever aspect of technology being covered. All definitions refer to the sustainability of the technology developed and used. There are several major components and players of Green Technology as outlined on the website www.green-technology.org; they are “sustainability, ‘cradle to grave’ design, source reduction, innovation and viability.”
(Green Technology, 2010, retrieved from http://www.green-technology.org/what.htm) Some of the developments on the rise are alternative fuel vehicles, alternative and clean-source energies and sustainable design and living to name a few. One of the prominent developments of Green Technology on the forefront of implementation is what is known as The Smart Grid. The Smart Grid is a new technology that will update the current delivery systems of electricity using various energy sources, with focus on renewable energy, by way of a computer-based remote control.
Even though the public is concerned about privacy issues, The Smart Grid Green Technology should be invested in so as to help close the digital divide because the saving of natural resources and economic boost of smart grid implementation and usage will allow for energy to be distributed to areas previously unconnected to power sources. The smart grid takes advantage of multiple power generating sources and is therefore a more efficient delivery of energy using an innovative energy distribution system that is less toxic and more protective of our planet earth.
First, America should invest in Smart Grid technology to help close the digital divide by modernizing the use and distribution of natural resources to allow for energy to be distributed in areas previously unconnected to power sources.
In 2007 The Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) was established. Steven T. Bushby (2011) author of the article Information Model Standard for Integrating Facilities with Smart Grid summates the act with the following statement; In order to meet future demands on energy growth and provide a reliable infrastructure where security is paramount, this national policy seeks to modernize the nation’s electricity transmission and distribution system. It also seeks to address a specific range of objectives.
(Bushby, 2011, retrieved from http://www.bacnet.org/Bibliography/BACnet-Today-11/Bushby-2011.pdf) With a modernization of the way energy is transmitted and distributed an accurate account of how much energy is needed and thus how much energy is delivered into residential as well as business end loads can be obtained.
The website smartgrid.gov (2008) sums up the issue and solution with, “The Smart Grid and the technologies embodied within it are an essential set of investments that will help bring our electric grid into the 21st century using megabytes of data to move megawatts of electricity more efficiently, reliably and affordably. (What the Smart Grid Means to Americans, 2008, retrieved from (http://www.smartgrid.gov/sites/default/files/pdfs/sg_advocates.pdf.) While this is one of the primary reasons to support the smart grid another specific range of objectives is to provide energy to sources that lack the energy supply currently.
The efficiency and cost effectiveness of a smart grid will allow those in impoverished or rural areas to have access. Initial implementation costs as well as the cost associated with procuring smart grid technologically equipped products will initially be cost prohibitive because of the newness of the technology but as with all other technological advances it will continue to refine. One of the byproducts involved with the refining of technology is that it becomes less expensive over time. Also as newer products are introduced to market, older products will be sold at discounted prices, thus allowing a multitudinous amount of consumers to have access to the power and associated products.
Additionally, the smart grid takes advantage of multiple power generating sources and is therefore a more ecologically friendly producer of energy. Most of the current energy grids are based on a one-way communication system where electricity is generated, based of estimations of need, at power plants. The electricity then travels through cables to the end load, idling until the switch is flipped. Power plants require a lot and many different sources to get the energy needed to operate the electricity producing generators.
These sources vary and primarily depend on how low the price of the fuel is, the compatibility of the plants technology with the fuel as well as the fuels availability. The main sources of fuel used to power the plants include coal, nuclear and gas. These three non-renewable and toxic energy-producing sources have been found to be scientifically harmful to the world’s environment. Other renewable energy power plants use the following sources: wind, hydroelectricity, sunlight and tidal motion. These four sources are not harmful to our environment and are of unlimited supply.
Finally, the most important reason the smart grid technology should be invested into in order to help close the digital divide is because of it’s innovative energy distribution system that is less toxic and more protective of our planet earth. What the smart grid aims to achieve is to design a primary system that has the technologies to utilize all energy sources available; renewable and non-renewable, with renewable energy bearing the primary load of output while the non-renewable acts in a subsequent capacity.
Cost is another benefit of primarily depending on renewable energy sources. While fossil fuel, coal and oil costs have gone up over the years Pernick and Wilder (2007) inform us in their book, The Clean Tech Revolution, “There is no cost of ‘fuel’ – the sun, the breeze, the heat of the earth, the tides and waves arrive free of charge daily.” (p.6)
It also aims to establish a two-way communication connection between Smart Grid energy production plants to Smart Grid energy output stations to Smart Grid business and residential end-loads. The business and residential end-loads will utilize Smart Grid technology and appliances/equipment that will be able to communicate exactly how much energy is needed. The Smart Grid output stations will know exactly how much to distribute and well as charge and the Smart Grid energy producing plant will know exactly how much to produce and when. Every step of the energy delivery system is aligned with one another and thus able to operate in an environmentally harmonious capacity.
The Smart Grid promises a lot in regards to its benefits and features. An enhanced and secure energy delivery system, energy availability in previously non-serviced areas as well as a primary usage of renewable energy sources is a tall order to fill and many detractors say that it doesn’t constitute a cost effective scenario.
Of more emergent concern is the issue of an individual’s privacy in regards to the enhanced communication system and advance technology of smart grid products and systems. Indeed, while the Public is concerned about privacy issues, societies should invest in the smart grid green technology to help close the digital divide and provide a healthy and natural way of living on this earth by not polluting her or wasting valuable non-renewable energy sources.
The Smart Grid Green Technology should be invested in so as to help close the digital divide because the saving of natural resources and economic boost of smart grid implementation and usage will allow for energy to be distributed to areas previously unconnected to power sources.
All of the details of the smart grid that are proponents of its implementation are geared to take society into a cleaner less polluted future. From the communication abilities of the smart grid to its ability to exact calculations of need and usage amount to the smart grid’s primary dependence on alternative and clean source energies, all of these capabilities go a long way in altering how well the earth is preserved for the future.
These achievements in green technology benefit everyone that uses energy and every one who depends on the earth for sustenance and life. Take into consideration the many technological advances and refinements that are on the cusp of changing how we treat our environment, while still servicing our wants and needs.
Technology is developing in ways that will meet societies growing future needs through ecologically friendly methods that don’t deplete or damage our natural resources. Developments such as alternative fuel vehicles, recycling innovations as well as sustainable design and not to leave out the topic of this research paper, the smart grid will ensure three necessary aspects needed for a thriving future here on earth; there will be a growing job demand for the green technology recruits, we can look forward to a less polluted world and that we can leave a better world to our children’s children.
Bushby, S., (2011), Information Model Standard for Integrating Facilities with Smart Grid. ASHRAE Journal: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc., B18-B19.
Litos Strategic Communication. (2008), The Smart Grid: An Introduction. A Department of Energy sponsored publication. Retrieved December 21, 2011, from http://www.smartgrid.gov/sites/default/files/pdfs/sg_advocates.pdf
Pernick, R. & Wilder, C., (2007), The Clean Tech Revolution; The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity, New York, NY., HapersCollins.
Green Technology. (2012), Green Technology – What is it? Retrieved January 6, 2012, from http://www.green-technology.org/what.htm