Thursday, September 29, 2011

'energy internet' for energy security

Our primary energy resources are finite. Despite a considerable increase of the share of renewable energy sources in our energy mix, coal and oil remain our major source of electricity and fuel. Further, the processes by which we use them contribute to global warming and the extreme weather we now experience.

Given the scarcity of these energy resources, many countries are now exploring how ICT can be used to make energy use more efficient. An example of a possible technological solution many countries are looking into is the smart grid. It operates like an energy internet, where people can monitor their energy consumption and choose where to source it from.

The European Union’s “Vision and Strategy for Europe’s Electricity Networks of the Future,” for instance, emphasizes the use of smart grids to modernize Europe’s electricity network, support open access and open up the electricity market, especially to renewable energy. China, Japan, Korea, and other countries in the region are also now investing in smart grid technologies.

There are current efforts to develop a smart grid in the Philippines. The potential of this technology to address our energy problems is tremendous. It can help facilitate net metering and maximize the potential of an open access regime, two key measures for stimulating the growth of renewable energy industries and deregulating our power sector.

This, coupled with efforts to maximize the Renewable Energy Law's Net-Metering, Feed In Tariffs and Green Option provisions, as well as to establish an open access regime under the EPIRA, would hopefully work to bring the prices of electricity down, and secure energy for the future.

-- Ixara Maroto, 15th post

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