Europe and therefore Switzerland too have set themselves ambitious climate targets. These goals can only be achieved if energy is used efficiently. Smart grids – intelligent electricity grids – support this development.
- Demand and, as a consequence, supply of electricity from renewable energy sources are steadily increasing. This also alters the requirements placed on electricity grids.
- The generation of electricity from solar or wind power cannot be easily planned and is subject to large fluctuations.
Increasing numbers of small electricity producers which draw electricity from regenerative sources are entering the market. The number of electricity producers is rising.
To cope with the increasing fluctuations in electricity production, transmission systems have to become smarter. A better balance needs to be established between production and consumption, and grids need to become more automated.
Smart grids offer one possible solution to these challenges. They are based on a symbiosis of modern information and communication technologies, making them more intelligent and more flexible to control:
- Meter reading: Smart metering refers to a method for recording, processing and invoicing consumers’ energy requirements. It facilitates a more accurate analysis of electricity consumption. Consumers can decide more easily when they need electricity and identify which items are real energy guzzlers. Suppliers can optimise production and grids.
- Feed in: The generation of electricity in solar and wind power plants is subject to far greater fluctuations. Excess electricity has to be stored. Sensors and intelligent meters form the basis for turning electricity storage systems on and off.
A number of obstacles still have to be overcome in the process of installing smart grids. But these grids will help to ensure efficient and reliable systems operation for the supply of electricity, thereby contributing to sustainable electricity production across Europe.