Smart Cities Need Smart Grid: But What Type of Smart Grid?

A Smart City Needs Smart Grid
White Paper Mon 21 May 2018

While that would seem to be true as an intuitive argument, what does that mean in detail?

There are lots of energy grid solutions which have the label “smart”, but are they all really “smart”? Which are “smart enough” to play an active role in the Smart City. And what does “smart enough” mean?

The objectives of the Smart City are quite simple, when viewed from the perspective of energy supply:

  • Energy needs to be supplied reliably, safely and efficiently.
  • Energy supply, transmission and consumption need to be sustainable, through reducing emissions, reducing consumption and increasing use of renewables.
  • There needs to be a balance between consumption and supply, applied to the level of the local micro-generation and
  • storage solutions.
  • Infrastructure needs to be optimised to allow investment to be focused on the right areas.
  • Energy supply needs to complement the overall social, life-style and sustainability targets of the Smart City.

In this paper, we use these starting points to define what the Smart Grid needs to do – in essence, what “smart enough” means, in terms that can be applied to specification of the Smart Grid which will successfully support the Smart City.

In fact, we find that “smart enough” can be measured in a few specific dimensions: Security, Distributed Intelligence, Communications, Monitoring and Analysis, Remote Extensibility, Omni-directional and Openness. Careful consideration of these dimensions will lead to a successful Smart Grid deployment for the Smart City.