Smart grid ready?
Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The Department of Energy envisions a modernized electrical grid that utilizes innovative technologies with two-way and/or multiway communications technologies that enables real time monitoring and control systems and improves the overall reliability, power quality, security, efficiency and management of the electricity grid with cyber security and interoperability systems.
The envisioned smart grid for the country will pave the way for Philippine power utilities to elevate service quality as well as equipment and asset deployments as it allows suitable integration of bulk and flexible generation, distributed energy resources, micro-grids and electric vehicles with management systems.
It will also empower customers by giving them access to timely information on their energy usage and provide them with options on energy access and service provisions.
A modernized power grid must be attained across the value chain in the power system: starting from the level of the power generators, to the transmission system, and up to the load networks of distribution utilities then the supply sector.
A smart grid will have distribution utilities (DU) deploy advanced metering infrastructure or smart meters that could better inform consumers on their level of electricity consumption that could better inform them on their level of electricity consumption and arm them with the information to manage their budgets. DU’s will also be encouraged to install additional energy monitoring and control devices that could encourage end users to pursue energy savings decisions as well as become more proactive on demand-side responses when it comes to electricity consumption.
As the country’s smart grid policy is being rewired, DU’s are being pushed to undertake smart grid pilot projects or develop in-house technologies that could help jumpstart their course into the smart grid track.
A smart grid policy is good news for consumers but before distribution utilities start upgrading, the DOE might want to ensure that current grid infrastructure is adequate. Considering that scheduled maintenance activities can still result in routine blackouts to large areas for extended periods in many service areas, the electrical grids being maintained by most DU’s may need to get the basics right first before any further smartening should be considered.
Hopefully the DOE looks into the true status of our electrical grids and starts focusing on the basics before embarking on upgrades that infrastructure at its current state may not even be ready for.*