Climate change events significantly increased over the past several decades, which can directly affect power grids in unpredictable ways that are difficult to respond to.
As climate change and weather severity become more prevalent, grid resilience becomes increasingly important. A grid that can withstand and recover from tough situations is more resilient and we need both high- and low-tech solutions to achieve this.
Here are five steps to help improve grid resiliency.
1. Microgrids to increase grid resiliency
Localized grids called microgrids can cut their connections to the main grid and function independently. Microgrids can increase grid resilience, help reduce grid disturbances and serve as a grid resource for quicker system response and recovery since they can run even when the main grid is down.
Microgrids support a versatile and effective electric grid. Batteries, distributed generators and renewable resources (e.g. solar panels) can all be used to power a microgrid. A microgrid may function eternally, depending on how you power it and control its requirements.
2. Landscaping to increase efficiency and reduce energy demands
Well-planned landscaping beautifies your house and lowers your heating and air conditioning expenses. Trees, shrubs or vines that are strategically positioned serve as a windbreak, provide efficient shade and mitigate energy costs. Strategically placed trees can reduce energy use in traditional homes by up to 25%.
The grid’s energy or supply required to fulfill demand can be reduced by increasing efficiency measures and demand response. Peak needs are frequently seen during severe weather conditions, such as hot summer days or winter storms.
Landlords and tenants need to implement efficiency measures to reduce the grid demand. Increasing energy efficiency decreases grid demand and minimizes energy waste, which lowers peak loads and improves grid resilience.
3. Diversification of the energy mix
Utilizing various suppliers, energy sources and transportation modes is known as energy diversification. This method is used to reduce reliance on a single provider. With the diversification of the energy mix, a nation’s ability to withstand energy interruptions is increased, as is the security of its energy supply.
Diversification can diminish the dangers brought about by political unrest or natural calamities. If a country has multiple sources of energy, energy security and grid resiliency will not be disrupted if one of the sources fails.
Every country has different natural resources, energy requirements and geopolitical limitations. As a result, their energy diversification differs.
4. Improve infrastructure through targeted investment
Electric networks are immediately threatened by extreme weather and other natural disasters. The electric grid is most likely to fail when people need it, like during polar vortex, storms, dramatic temperature fluctuations or wildfires. Therefore, grid operators must take urgent action to improve the weather resistance of energy transmission and distribution systems.
Investing in infrastructure lessens the effects of supply interruptions, restores energy more rapidly during outages and defends the system from supply disruptions caused by climate-induced extreme weather or physical and cyberattacks. Our electric system becomes more resilient if the grids are modernized, hardened and expanded.
Stakeholders need to devise thoughtful planning and investment to make today’s electric grids more stable.
5. Energy storage
The use of energy storage is growing more rapidly because it makes the power grid more flexible, and is compatible with various applications and offers several other services.
Energy storage can help us get the most out of renewable energy and reduce the amount of energy wasted.
A great way to store energy is industrial solar battery storage. Stored energy helps grids resume supply quickly and without delay. A more resilient grid can help us better withstand power outages caused by extreme weather events.
Although we can’t battle all the possible risks, an increased grid resilience allows us to reduce the impacts of climate change and helps us to better withstand and recover from disruptions.
About the author: Dr. Denis Phares is the CEO of Dragonfly Energy Corp. and leads the company's innovation and research initiatives, focusing on developing and advancing Dragonfly's revolutionary technology.
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