Singapore to introduce intelligent energy management system

Nov 21, 2009 01:00 AM

Singapore's Energy Market Authority (EMA) is launching a 3-year pilot project aimed at helping households and businesses save more on electricity bills. The initiative comes on the back of higher consumption patterns and more diversified energy sources.
Due to the current design of Singapore's electricity grid, users do not know how much electricity is used until the monthly power bill. The growing use of renewable/alternative energy like wind power and solar power will also create complications as power sources become intermittent and variable.

To address these challenges, EMA is rolling out the "Intelligent Energy System" project aimed at developing smart grid solutions. It includes deploying smart meters to more homes, which provide households with real-time information on their electricity usage, and help them shift demand away from peak periods.
Having a smart electric grid will also ensure continued reliability in electricity supply, using renewable energy sources, and offer the ability to tap into electric cars as an energy storage system to feed power back to the grid during peak periods, also known as V2G (Vehicle-to-Grid). As technology takes off, there will be increasing demand for electricity charging by plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric cars.

The Singapore government continues to execute on its long-term energy strategy. With the advent of Peak Oil, the era of cheap energy and certainly cheap electricity is over. The next best things to do, then, are to look into renewable/alternative energy sources, energy conservation, and certainly, energy management systems, such as grid tie solar systems, and intelligent electrical power distribution systems such as this "Intelligent Energy System".
The other notable point is the one about plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles acting as smart cars when plugged into the grid for recharging (or discharging, if that were the case) to act as a sort of distributed battery system. It would certainly be most interesting to see how thismight work out seeing how it is quite likely that at night the cars would need recharging while the sun isn't shining.

Which brings us back to the point that the peak oilers are making: "We need all of the above, and every bit helps" -- and to which the corollary might state: "But we still need reliable base-load power", though a smart power grid would certainly be useful to help even things out a bit.

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