Rethinking the Power Grid: Increasing Reliance on Solar

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the increase in solar calls for a grid update

When the grid was first used it powered factories and the homes of wealthy individuals. The average person, however, still used lamps for light.

As technology continued to advance electricity use exploded. Now our everyday activities would be obsolete without the power lines that carry electricity to us. These advances in technology have in turn caused other power sources to evolve.

Renewable Energy Progress in the US Energy Sector

The 21st century has brought with it a new era—an age of renewable energy. Although the US is lagging behind other first world countries, we are affected by the age of renewables.

Wind and Solar Alone Could Meet Most of Our Energy Needs

The Energy and Environmental Science journal recently published a study. This study found that a mix of solar wind and storage could provide 80 percent of US energy needs.

We are already making large strides in our wind and solar generation. Once you add other renewable energy sources to the mix the need for coal vanishes completely.

Government’s Role in Renewable Finance

Over the years the government has funded many different sources of energy—renewable energy is no exception. Government policy has played a large role in the affordability of renewable energy.

The state and federal governments have funded loans, grants and tax credits. All of which has made solar and other renewables feasible. The Database of State Incentives for Renewables provides a list of available incentives for interested parties.

Why the Shift to Solar is Important

The advantages of acquiring solar are multifaceted. You the planet and future generations all benefit from individuals doing your part in healing the earth.

It’s the End of the World as We Know It

Scientists from around the world have concluded that climate change is real. Unfortunately, no matter if you accept global warming or not science shows that our planet is changing. If we don’t do something soon we may be in for some extreme weather.

This is a bit of a scary thought. The good news is that implementing solar and other renewable energy sources can help. The more conscious we are of our contribution to air pollution the happier we will be in the long run.

All Renewables are Good, But Solar Takes Advantage of Unused Space

All renewables are on the same team—the fight against climate change. Some, however, have a larger effect on their local ecosystem than others.

Most renewable energy sources require a lot of space. This displaces animals and plants that were living in these areas.

Solar, however, has a solution. Rooftop solar utilizes unused space and solar farms can be multi-purposed. Solar allows us to enjoy nature while producing energy.

How a Restructured Grid can Support Renewable Energy

The world we live in is evolving. With the emergence of different renewable energy sources, there has come a need for a grid upgrade.

How The Grid Currently Works

The grid has three main components. These include generation, transmission and distribution.

As electricity generation has become has increased so has transmission and distribution needs. The increase of rooftop solar, however, has added a whole new variable to the equation.

Customers with rooftop solar don’t need transmission and distribution lines in order to use their solar generated power. Instead of taking energy off the grid they put excess power on the grid. In order to get the most out of their array, they need an update in the grid that allows for accurate calculation of power input and output.

Implementing Smart Grid Technology

The smart grid is a solution to the problems associated with increased electrical demand and varied power sources. It implements technology that allows for two way communication. It also increases response time when the grid has a glitch by alerting the control center of errors.

Some of the technology associated with the smart grid include smart thermostats, solar monitoring, smart meters and blockchains. As more technologies become integrated into the grid our power will become reliable efficient and self-sustaining.

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