Creating Smart Energy Communities

In an article for POWER Magazine, Guidehouse Insights examines a more human-centric approach to the grid

With the rise of technologies like microgrids, distributed renewables, battery storage, and vehicle-to-grid applications, the once-inflexible electric grid is becoming increasingly flexible, bringing benefits to both remote and urban communities.

In an article for POWER Magazine, Grant Samms, research analyst at Guidehouse Insights, says this flexibility is driving the concept of smart energy communities, which rely on a combination of smart energy technologies to boost energy resilience while lowering costs and emissions.

“What’s exciting about this reimagination of energy is that (from a technical point of view) it’s ready to be implemented,” Samms said, explaining that the barriers are mostly human in naturethis new level of flexibility and self-sufficiency runs counter to a century of established norms and policies. 

Samms said communities as remote as the Isles of Scilly in Great Britain and as urban as the Park Slope neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York have already found success in becoming smart energy communities, and use cases continue to expand, despite policy challenges.

“Not only are consumers beginning to see the potential benefits of this system, they also are requiring them,” Samms said. “Electrical supply vendors are starting to see a massive new market. Those forces pressure our existing grid systems, both physical and regulatory, to be better versions of themselves.”

Read the POWER Magazine Article
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