Fremont, CA: We've seen technology advancing far beyond previous predictions over the past few years. It's changing faster than ever before, and in the next few decades, we're going to see dramatic impacts of the new changes. Engineers will have to find out how the distribution system can be reshaped to enable a new distributed generation model. It will need to be sufficiently flexible to accept new loads such as an electrified transport fleet and equipped with modern devices to connect in real time with producers and consumers.
Solar has become a vital source of generation. While wind power typically reaches its highest rate of production, demand is at its lowest. Over and above the wind and solar, the electrification of transportation is another disruptor in this supply/demand equation. The electrical grid can now support the changing demands of the relatively few on-road electric vehicles (EVs), but this will probably change very soon. Nearly every automaker has plans to bring out new models of EVs.
So far, the system of electrical supply and power delivery has been designed to meet all current demand, plus a certain margin of the reserve to carry unexpectedly high peak demand. Now, we calculate peak demand based on historical patterns, then construct enough infrastructure for supply and power delivery to meet it. It is necessary to find new and innovative ways of managing both the supply and the demand side of the equation.
The world looks for solutions that will keep the industry shifting towards cleaner power and a more versatile two-way grid that will retain the reliability that we all expect and rely on. It would be an exciting future with the right tech-driven incentives and financial structures in place.