Engineering has always been active in designing and realizing innovative solutions to support the integration of growing amounts of non-programmable energy, which comes from renewable sources.
There has been a significant increase in the amount of electrical energy produced by distributed renewable sources (photovoltaic, wind power, biomasses...) in recent years, with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, increasing the production of energy from renewable sources and increasing overall energy efficiency in the electricity distribution grids (under the use of energy produced close to consumption points). Actions that come under the context of the European 20-20-20 Plan for energy efficiency and climatic change, to be achieved by 2020.
The growing share of distributed generation, which often comes from intermittent sources (sun, wind) connected to the electrical grid, even on low and medium voltage stretches, makes electricity distribution grids statically difficult to program and requires new, real time monitoring and control modes that have greater levels of intelligence and smartness than traditional grids.
On the other hand, technological evolution makes ICT functions available at accessible costs, which could only be justified up to now if they were combined with high cost infrastructures - such as transportation grids - and opens the doors to a ground-breaking change in the very philosophy of distribution grid functions.
The term, therefore, is Smart Energy Grid intended as intelligent infrastructures that are enabled by innovative ICT applications to support the concept of Smart Cities, that can combine freedom of individual behavior and system efficiency, integration of distributed energy resources and safety in supplies, a priority use of renewable sources and the possibility of programming grid conditions.
Engineering has been active for several years now in the area of design and realization of Smart Grid innovative solutions. It has consolidated experience, acquired through the development of innovative applications, in order to support a greater, more efficient integration of growing quantities of non-programmable energy from renewable sources through a more flexible demand.
These applications concern: