I am hearing news about smart this, smart that and smart everything where every device has some kind of intelligence built in. Not the I Robot kind of intelligence. At least not yet. But, Smart Grid which is intelligence for electricity particularly caught my attention.
Smart Grid is monitoring everything by connecting the cradle to Grave of the electricity distribution on the Internet. The companies supplying electricity can monitor where their supply is going and what is the peak load and other good stuff. The consumers can monitor how much they are consuming and tune their usage accordingly.
Right now what we have this , sometimes we use the power and sometimes we don’t depending upon the whims and fancies of the weather gods and the bureaucrat. There will be power cuts at regular intervals but at the end of the month we get a humongous bill. Something doesn’t look right about it but, you know what? We can’t do anything about except for paying the bill.
How about we can use the electricity whenever we want and not whenever it is available? How about we know what the usage is throughout the month and we can use it accordingly? How about we get a itemized bill just like our telephone bill to know which day did we use the maximum power?
For example the month’s of April and May give us the maximum bills because of the summer and the IPL. At the end of April if we see that we are using the most may be we can cut down on the IPL matches and skimp on the AC for May.
The power companies are the most to benefit from this. The distribution losses of which most are attributed to pilfering will be next to nil. If we can cut our distribution losses or track them and take necessary actions, then we might not need as much new power generation.
Am I sounding too futuristic? Well, may be, but the problem is it already exists half way down the globe in the US. India skipped the land line connections and directly jumped onto mobile’s. The total telephone connections stand at 420 million. This is more than the population of the United States. Back in 1999, this would have sounded futuristic. We achieved this in 10 years.
By skipping some steps, Can’t we do the same thing for electricity too?
PS : On a side note, looks like we don’t have to cut down on the IPL matches to save power. South Africa’s weather took care of that for us. “Weather was the main reason we chose South Africa — Lalit Modi”. ROFL.