IGERT Smart Grid

What is Smart Grid?

The smart grid uses modern information technology to make electric power systems work better – cleaner, cheaper, and more reliably. The smart grid is designed to allow greater usage of renewable resources, such as solar or wind, which are restricted in traditional grids by high variability and unpredictability of these sources. Smart grid operation requires active participation of power consumers, in promoting energy efficiency, in timing energy usage to help maintain a uniform electric load, and in operation of distributed small-scale solar and wind power generation units. Proactive government policies are needed to support and encourage these changes, and improved public education is needed to help the public appreciate the benefits and weigh the risks of the smart grid.