“The widespread deployment of smart grids is critical for a secure, cost-effective and clean energy future,” says a new report published by the International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday.
In its Smart Grid Technology Roadmap, the IEA calls smart grids a “key enabling technology” which will allow for more wide-spread and streamlined adoption of new low carbon energy technologies, energy efficiency programs and electric vehicles.
“We need to see a much more aggressive investment in large-scale regional pilots in order to deploy smart grids at the scale they are needed,” said IEA Executive Director Nobuo Tanaka. “Governments need to establish clear and consistent policies, regulations and plans for electricity systems that will allow innovative investment in smart grids.”
The United States recently announced a groundbreaking project to connect the nation’s three major electricity grids. The new plan, called the “Tres Amigas” Superstation project, will link up the three systems and allow for interconnectivity. This will increase grid security and make it easier for renewable energy sources to come online.
COO David Stidham says this long-awaited project “wouldn’t have been possible just five years ago,” and is only possible thanks to advancements in networks, converters and grid software. Tres Amigas is slated for completion by the summer of 2014.