Today’s electricity system consists primarily of large monopolized and centralized generators (Nuclear, Gas, Coal, Hydro), serving remote demand and entirely controlled by utilities. Just as it always has.
The Smart Grid of the Future will look more like the smart cell phone model, with centralized hubs replaced by distributed generation and monopolized control replaced by generation/consumption independence within each building.
A key feature of the Smart Grid is the two-way flow of electricity and information between utilities and consumers, allowing the real-time balance of supply and demand at the building, or even device, level. There is a national imperative to upgrade the grid to support continued economic growth and improve productivity, while meeting the demands and pressures of an increasingly digital society. When combined with renewable generation, storage, and conservation, the Smart Grid is the key to ensuring that demand and supply are equalized in both directions, preventing wastage, additional cost, and supply shortfalls.
The first step towards this Smart Grid is solar on rooftops.