Traditional Grid Model (Click image to enlarge) What will the future grid look like?
A systematic transformation of today's electric grid is underway to enable high penetrations of sustainable energy systems. The grid is evolving from a network architecture with relatively few large, hierarchically-connected, tightly synchronized energy resources supplying large, medium, and very many small passive consumers. It is evolving toward a network driven by many distributed and concentrated, highly variable energy resources mixed with large central generation sources, energy storage and responsive users. The effective transformation of the grid requires decisions based on identification and solution of major operating, planning, workforce, economic and public policy challenges.
The Future Grid Will Require New Paradigms in Technology, Communication and Decision-Making (Click image to enlarge)
PSERC's Future Grid Initiative
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has funded the project "The Future Grid to Enable Sustainable Energy Systems." Its objective is to conduct research on how to integrate higher penetrations of renewable generation and other future technologies into the grid while enhancing grid stability, reliability, and efficiency. Another objective is to stimulate discussion among the academic, industry and government communities on what it will take to shape the future grid for the mid-twenty-first century.
The Future Grid Initiative is structured into six thrust areas of cross-cutting research, plus two white paper series of broad analysis topics.
Visioning the 21st Century Electricity Industry: Strategies and Outcomes for America, February 2012