NEWS FLASH! Today’s grid was not designed for today’s electrified, intermittent generation, green ecosystem – and meeting tomorrow’s electricity needs will be even more challenging! Ok, so maybe that isn’t a surprise to anyone anywhere. As the world becomes more and more dependent on reliable, inexpensive, resilient electric power, our electric power grid and those who operate it have become central to meeting national and global economic and societal needs. Business and societal expectations for the grid are that it operates at near perfection. Power outages and higher electricity costs make national news whenever they occur with finger-pointing, anger, and indignation directed towards the grid and market operators, some of it rightly so.
If you stand back and think about the way that we plan for grid upgrades, it becomes very clear why DSO and TSOs are struggling to meet rapidly growing customer expectations and electricity demand needs. Our industry plans for PEAK LOAD needs that occur only a few times a year. So, we overbuild the infrastructure for most times of the year. That’s not necessarily a horrible idea and it has worked reasonably well in the past, but as we look forward to high penetration electric vehicles and lower reliance on fossil fuels for EVERYTHING, the amount of planned electricity capacity to meet peak load needs of the near future are mind-boggling AND EXPENSIVE!
So, just think about what’s coming next with a huge wave of completely unfamiliar and untested electricity customers – electric vehicles.