A smart grid, or intelligent power system, refers to a power system that makes broad use of digitalisation. Smart grids enable customers to participate more fully in the electricity market, improve power adequacy and create new business opportunities for companies.
Increasing intelligence is a cost-effective solution for adapting to an energy supply that is based on renewable, weather-dependent electricity generation. Smart grids monitor energy flows and continuously optimise electricity consumption and production. In an intelligent power system, electricity can be generated and consumed wherever and whenever it is most profitable. This can mean, for instance, the immediate sale of electricity generated by solar panels to the electricity markets or storing it in a battery for future use. Another example is the automatic momentary switching off of a hot water tank when the wind suddenly calms down.
Smart grids will play a major role in maintaining power adequacy in the future, as intelligent networks will provide better opportunities to maintain the power balance by offering more precise data on electricity consumption and production closer to real time, and by offering new tools for the electricity market. The smart grid will thus contribute to a cost-effective shift towards a power system based on greener electricity production.
Thanks to smart grids, customers also will have better opportunities to participate in the electricity markets. Customers will have greater freedom in terms of microgeneration, demand-side management and value-based choices, for example, as the smart grid serves as a platform for innovative new electricity-related services.
Fingrid is actively developing smart grids in co-operation with its stakeholders. Fingrid has participated in several research and pilot projects with partners such as universities and technology companies. The projects have provided insight into both technological implementation and issues related to the electricity markets.
Fingrid is also a member of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment's smart grid working group, whose mission is to look into the opportunities smart grids can offer the electricity markets. The aim of the working group is to create a common view of the future smart grids and to look into and propose concrete measures on how smart grids could promote customers' possibilities to actively participate in the electricity market and contribute to maintaining power adequacy. For more information about the Ministry's smart grid working group, please see the working group's website (in Finnish).
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