Electricity is delivered throughout a country by an enormous infrastructure, or “grid,” of wires. These grids are very complex, as they’re made up of many different individual networks run by many different power companies. Technicians have to navigate this complicated system and figure out when and how much energy to send to consumers. However, because it’s so complex (a little messy, really; the technology’s quite old), they end up sending more energy out than consumers actually need. This waste uses up more coal and is bad for the environment, and also causes companies and consumers to spend extra money.
The essential idea of the “smart grid” is to use modern technology to avoid these wastes. Computers will sense how much electricity is required in consumers’ homes. Then the computers can send that information to the power companies, or even adjust the level of power automatically.
It’s a little more complicated than that, but that’s the smart grid in a nutshell. While it will save a huge amount of money and power in the long run, it’s going to be a bit tricky to put it into place while still supplying power to everyone!
If you want to know more, check out the pdf file in my citations. It might take awhile to load, but it’s a good read.
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