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Smart Grids

As more and more countries start to integrate renewable energy into the mix, the need for smart grids is also growing. What are smart grids? They’re a type of electricity network controlled by digital technology–and that network runs straight from a power plant right into your home. The idea is to make the flow of electricity more reliable and efficient AND be able to better integrate alternative energy sources, like wind power, solar energy, etc.

One of the most important parts of smart grids is actually the intelligence aspect. The technology allows energy consumers to actually track how much energy they use, and when. So that means, you can actually keep track of your own energy ‘behavior.’ It sounds a bit confusing, but you can read more about how smart grids work on the EU’s dedicated website.

There is one catch, though. Privacy protection advocates are worried that your energy information–how much electricity you use, when you use the most, etc.–might not be secure with smart grids. Basically, they believe smart grids could give big energy companies access to information about you that they can store and use for other purposes.

What do you think? Do you think privacy is a big concern when it comes to smart grids? Why?


April 28, 2011



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