Faced with the changing French and global energy landscape, our evolving and ever higher consumption, and the emergence of new environmental issues, our centrally designed electricity distribution network is no longer a viable model.
As a result, it has to be re-tuned to deal with new energy requirements in order to better meet the major challenges it faces. It must evolve and become “smarter” so as to increase the potential responsiveness of network operators, and enable end-users to manage their consumption proactively.
Smart Grids are a new generation of electricity networks that seek to overcome the shortcomings of the current system and take into account new energy issues (energy prices, CO2 emissions, peak electricity management, energy mix etc.) by effectively integrating the behaviour and activity of all users connected to it – producers, consumers, and users who both produce and consume – to build a profitable and sustainable system with low wastage and a high level of quality and security of supply. To achieve this, new networks combine all available innovations and information and communication technologies in monitoring the activity of stakeholders in the electricity system. They promote communication between networks and interaction between stakeholders, thereby facilitating increased responsiveness.
Accordingly, Smart Grids meet three main objectives:
- Improving network quality, reliability and stability in a context of growing interconnections between networks;
- Promoting the use of renewable energy sources (solar, wind), facilitating their integration into power systems which already cope with high loads, and improving the stabilisation of these networks for highly intermittent renewable sources;
- Optimising energy efficiency: ensuring that equipment can utilise its capacities to the maximum, reduce losses and better manage demand, allowing greater flexibility for producers (more flexible network management) and consumers, thereby, and above all, enabling them to be more active.