by Marisa McNatt
Since the Energy Policy Act of 2005 set forth the objective of increasing the intelligence of the grid to enable the efficient delivery and use of electric power, the smart grid has received increasing attention.
Today, in the Wittemyer Courtroom in the Wolf Law Building at CU-Boulder, the event “An Electric Grid for the 21st Century” is taking place from 2:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Creating a smarter grid essentially means making the grid more flexible, or allowing for management from the demand side. In other words, energy users could respond when a transition to other sources of energy, such as solar and wind, are made available, integrate “distributed generation capabilities,” such as rooftop solar panels, and change their energy demand as necessary, for example, managing “needle peaks” during hot summer days.
However, creating a more flexible grid presents challenges for academics and lawmakers on issues ranging from access to energy usage information, to the protection of consumer privacy in electric usage information, and protecting the grid against cyber security attacks. These concerns need to be addressed in the near future.
The conference brings together leaders in government, academia and industry to advance the dialogue on a range of questions and challenges concerning the smart grid.
See the website for details on panel discussions.