MONDAY 08 FEBRUARY, 2010 |
Australia A Smart Grid World Leader
Australia has a habit of sparking innovation within its borders, only to see the
talent behind it disappear overseas; then leaving us to play catch-up when the
technology goes to market.
However, according to a report from Companies And
Markets, Australia is now considered to be one of the world leaders in a
technology to play a critical role in addressing how the world utilises energy
in the future - smart grid development.
Smart Grid Australia last year received AU$100 million from the Federal
Government for a National Energy Efficiency Initiative to develop a smart-grid
energy network. The demonstration project combines intelligent grid technology
with residential smart
to enable greater energy
and better integration of renewable
sources, such as solar
Companies And Markets states the most interesting aspect of the Australian smart
grid demonstration project is that it is linked to the National Broadband
Network (NBN) which it says clearly shows the trans-sector thinking the
Australian government has embarked upon.
The USA Government has also dished out major funding for smart grids, awarding
over USD$3.4 billion of matching grants for the development of smart grids. The
funding will underpin more than $8 billion worth of intelligent energy
technology projects and will provide a significant stimulus to growth of this
No doubt, many other countries will be monitoring Australia and the USA's
progress in smart grid technology closely. Cities that hold more than one
million people have increased from around 20 to 450 in the last century and this
has created challenges for electricity infrastructure, with issues such as line
loss seeing a great deal of electricity being lost "in transit"
between power generation facilities and the end consumer or simply being wasted
through the need to maintain spare capacity that is often never used.
An interesting piece of trivia from the report: According to New Zealand's
Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), there is enough spare
capacity in the national grid during off-peak times to allow recharging of all
New Zealandís cars and other light vehicles if these were replaced by electric
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