Australia’s Smart Grid A Step Closer

The Australian Government yesterday announced the next step in transforming Australia’s ageing electricity grid into a “smart grid” through the release of a report.
 
Environment Minister, Peter Garrett said the Smart Grid, Smart City report provides insights into how smart grids can work in Australia. 
 
“From the power plant to the power point, smart grids enable a two-way flow of information between energy suppliers and consumers. Linking all these energy data points creates a web of information so that energy can be delivered where and when it is required; the potential economic benefits of creating an Internet for the energy industry are staggering.”
 
Smart grids help electricity companies better handle loads and assist in incorporating renewable energy sources such as wind energy and solar power
 
A smart grid can also identify and resolve faults on the electricity grid and automatically “self-heal”.
 
For consumers, smart meters will help people better manage their energy use and make informed choices about when and how they use electricity. Additionally, smart meters will make each house solar energy and wind power ready
 
“Early estimates show that if smart grid applications are adopted around Australia they could deliver significant economic and environmental benefits to the Australian economy, including an estimated minimum reduction of 3.5 mega-tonnes of carbon emissions per annum,” Minister Garrett said. 
 
The Australian Government will invest up to $100 million to develop the Smart Grid, Smart City demonstration project in partnership with the energy sector. Submissions from industry consortiums wishing to participate in the project will be assessed by an independent panel and the successful consortium announced by Government early in 2010.
 
The Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts is also seeking public comment on the draft guidelines for the National Energy Efficiency (Smart Grid, Smart City) Initiative.
 
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