The North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), an international regulatory authority whose purpose is to ensure reliability of the bulk power systems in North America, has just released a study on the Reliability Impacts of Climate Change Initiatives. It provides a comprehensive review of future reliability risks including smart grid initiatives. NERC appropriately looks at a number of future time frames, or horizons, which provide perspective in its analysis – 1-10 years, 10-20 years, and 20-plus years (up to 2050).
A review of the NERC study by Environment & Energy Publishing (E&E), reproduced as an appendix to this post, noted:
“A task force on climate change formed by North American Reliability Corp. urges that policy makers not count on large amounts of renewable energy, demand reduction from smart grid systems or new storage technologies before they prove they can be worked into the grid without endangering the system’s reliability.”…
“The Proposal would not, in and of itself, enhance the electricity transmission grid or the Company’s distribution ‘backbone,’ and therefore it doesn’t justify the proposed customer surcharge by BG&E.”
– Public Service Commission of Maryland, IN THE MATTER OF THE APPLICATION BEFORE THE OF BALTIMORE GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY FOR AUTHORIZATION TO DEPLOY A SMART GRID INITIATIVE AND TO ESTABLISH A SURCHARGE FOR THE RECOVERY OF COST CASE NO. 9208 (June 22, 2010)
The smartest guys in the electricity room believe that a path to energy efficiency and environmental goodness is to hook up so-called smart meters for us little users. The smart machines would signal (jolt?) us to use less power in peak times when the price is high and to use power more when the price is low.
But the very concept has problems aplenty. …