What is an intelligent power grid

Intelligent networks

Information and communication technologies will play a central role in linking the components of energy systems. With their help, a monitoring and optimization of the interconnected components should be made possible. The aim is to secure the energy supply on the basis of efficient and reliable system operation.

Intelligent networks ("Smart Grids")

The term "intelligent power grid" describes the communicative connection of the actors in the energy system from generation to transport, storage and distribution to consumption in the energy supply network. The basic idea is to include every device that is connected to the power supply in the system in the sense of "plug & play". This creates an integrated data and energy network with completely new structures and functionalities. Modern, intelligent measuring systems ("smart meters") will soon be replacing the well-known electricity meters. As valuable helpers in the "Smart Grid", they no longer just measure the electricity consumption or the amount of electricity fed into the grid in order to be able to draw up bills, but also log power failures and provide the network operators with important information so that they coordinate generation, network load and consumption in a largely automated manner can. Even the intelligent control of consumption and storage systems in the household sector is made possible by intelligent measuring systems. They can show consumers their own consumption behavior and help save electricity costs. Furthermore, intelligent metering systems can also open the door to variable, "tailor-made" tariffs. In the future, all of this can help to reduce the need for expensive electricity during peak load times, to reduce the load on the grids, to better utilize the load and to maintain security of supply.

In Germany, the first smart grid activities were bundled under the umbrella of the federal government's funding initiative "E-Energy - ICT-based energy system of the future".

E-Energy was declared a lighthouse project of the federal government and funded six pilot projects with a total volume of around 140 million euros until 2013, in which the benefits of the use of information technologies in the energy sector were researched and tested. In addition, cross-cutting issues such as the legal framework (e.g. data protection) or standardization were examined across projects. The Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy contributed 40 million euros in funding.

SINTEG funding program started

With the funding program "Smart Energy Showcase - Digital Agenda for the Energy Turnaround" (SINTEG), new approaches for secure network operation with high proportions of fluctuating electricity generation from wind and solar energy are being developed and tested in five model regions.

The aim of the funding program is to provide sample solutions for a climate-friendly, safe and efficient energy supply with a high proportion of renewable energies. The focus is on the intelligent networking of generation and consumption through the use of innovative network technologies and operating concepts.

Further information on SINTEG can be found here.