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1 Author(s)
Vojdani, A. ; Utility Integration Solutions Inc., Lafayette, CA

Electric utilities in the United States and globally are heavily investing to upgrade their antiquated delivery, pricing, and service networks including investments in the following areas: -- smart grid, which generally includes improvements upward of the meters all the way to the transmission network and beyond -- smart metering, sometimes called advanced metering infrastructure (AMI), which usually includes control and monitoring of devices and appliances inside customer premises -- smart pricing including real-time pricing (RTP) or, more broadly, time-variable pricing, sometimes including differentiated pricing -- smart devices and in-home energy management systems such as programmable controllable thermostats (PCTs) capable of making intelligent decisions based on smart prices -- peak load curtailment, demand-side management (DSM), and demand response (DR) -- distributed generation, which allows customers to be net buyers or sellers of electricity at different times and with different tariffs, for example, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), which can be charged under differentiated prices during off-peak hours. The main drivers of change include: -- insufficient central generation capacity planned to meet the growing demand coupled with the increasing costs of traditional supply-side options -- rising price of primary fuels including oil, natural gas, and coal -- increased concerns about global climate change associated with conventional means of power generation -- demand for higher power quality in the digital age.

Published in:

Power and Energy Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:6 ,  Issue: 6 )