According to the official definition of the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), Smart Grids are energy systems capable of effectively and intelligently integrating, predicting and encouraging the actions and behaviour of the various users (consumers and producers) connected to them, in order to maintain an efficient, sustainable, economic and secure energy supply.
Smart Grids are the basis of the Smart Grids concept because of the historical penetration of automation and control systems for electricity production (until now highly centralised), transmission and distribution networks and consumption points (whether industrial, tertiary or residential).
Historically, the electricity grid has been established in such a way as to transmit energy flows unidirectionally, from generation plants (e. g. hydraulic, nuclear, thermal) to consumers (residential, tertiary, industrial). The network was therefore composed of a limited number of clearly identified producers to ensure that supply met demand at all times.
Today, smart grids allow decentralized energy producers to be integrated by monitoring two-way flows.
The stakes are high, especially since decentralized energy production is mainly based on photovoltaics and wind power, which are intermittent sources of energy by nature. Therefore, the same point in the grid, say a company with a fleet of photovoltaic panels, can be both a place of production and energy consumption depending on weather conditions.
A Smart Grid must therefore be able to instantly measure local energy production to ensure the power supply of equipment, interacting with the national grid to remove excess energy produced or to call up energy if local production is not sufficient.
An essential element of Smart Grids, the smart meter allows you to know precisely how much your network consumes. Better knowledge of energy consumption results in changes in virtuous behaviour to optimize the way people consume.
Therefore, in addition to making it possible to integrate renewable energies locally, Smart Grids are a concrete way of influencing energy consumption to meet current ecological challenges.
By way of illustration, smart power grids are typically deployable on the scale of a neighbourhood, a public place (e. g. cultural centre, shopping centre), or a factory.
Smart Gas Grids are intelligent gas networks that benefit from all the new digital technologies (sensors, data generators, etc.), with the objective of improving the efficiency of natural gas distribution. Their deployment serves four main strategic objectives for natural gas distribution system operators:
There are 2 types of thermal networks: heating and cooling networks. A heating network is a heat distribution system that serves several users. A cooling network collects heat in the buildings and evacuates it to a cooling plant. These networks both have great potential for energy efficiency and the integration of renewable energy and recovery.
The deployment of digital technologies and intelligent sensors on these networks provides the opportunity to optimize their management by better anticipating peak heating periods and reducing energy losses, while favouring the least expensive sources (economically and environmentally).
These "intelligent" heating and cooling networks therefore allow dynamic management of thermal energy according to market conditions, as close as possible to final demand.
In addition to conventional energies (e.g. natural gas, fuel oil, coal, etc.), these networks can also include new energy sources such as recovery energies (e.g. fatal heat released by waste incineration, heat related to the operation of servers in a datacenter) and energies from renewable sources (e.g. biomass, biogas, solar thermal, etc.).
The recovery of caloric energy is an element to be integrated into the economic equation from the design phase of infrastructure projects, in a logic of valorizing heat emissions, lost or costly otherwise.
The implementation of Smart Grids creates value for the community around four major issues:
According to an analysis conducted byAssociation des Distributeurs d’Electricité en France (ADEeF), ADEME, Enedis and the Réseau de Transport d’Electricité (RTE) in 2017,
the economic value of smart grids lies mainly in the implementation of intelligent control systems (forecasting and dynamic management of distribution networks, capping solutions, flexibility), which could generate, by 2030, net benefits of around €400 million per year for all national authorities, including several tens of millions of euros for the public transport network. To this must also be added the profits made by public distribution system operators.
The savings and benefits identified by this analysis are as follows:
A valorization of public data for local authorities
The data collected or produced by the community as part of its public service mission enable it to better understand and manage its activity, but it may also use it with third parties to encourage the creation of new services for the benefit of citizens.
This data allows for example:
The data can thus be used to create consumption typologies and enrich the services offered. Electricity and gas managers therefore become data operators, which they provide to local authorities in compliance with the obligations related to the protection of personal data. The latter will be able to initiate a local public data service, which combines data from dealers with public data. Data aggregation is valuable in an "Open Data" approach, a vector of local innovations.
The following is a non-exhaustive list of recommendations for communities to help frame the Smart Grids deployment process:
Hello, do you have a question about Smart Grids ? Need to remove doubts in view of a future project? Send an email to Benjamin Fradelle, Tactis Associate Director.