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Increase in renewables requires substation automation

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Thursday, January 16, 2014

A recent ambitious prediction for renewable energy generation in New York could see an increase in substation automation technology.

Plans to increase the amount of clean power in the U.S. are growing, with concerns about the environment and the burning of high-pulluting fossil fuels. A number of measures have been taken to address these issues, including efforts to increase renewable capacity, and limiting the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that power plants can produce.

With this growth in green energy comes a need to better manage it along the electric grid. The power generated by these resources is often not consistent given the fact that the they only generate energy when conditions are right, such as when the wind is blowing and the sun is shining. This creates a need for smart grid technology that can help utilities manage its power demand throughout its entire distribution network.

New York entirely renewable?
The prospect of a renewable energy future may be closer than many expect. According to VOA News, researchers from Stanford University, Cornell University and the University of California, Davis, have published a report that lays out how the Empire State could become almost entirely renewable by 2030.

The plan would utilize wind, water and solar electricity resources and the amount of energy left over would be enough to power all the vehicles in the state, along with reducing annual air pollution related deaths by 4,000 people.

According to the Energy Information Administration, New York currently has the most expensive energy costs in the continental U.S. at around 19.57 cents per kilowatt hour, making it second only to Hawaii in terms of individual states. This means that the integration and efficient distribution of renewable power could help make electricity more affordable.

Using substation automation technology
This potential increase in renewable power will likely need to be aided by substation automation technologies to make sure that these energy sources are able to efficiently meet the needs of electricity consumers. This trend is a major reason why the market for these capabilities is expected to grow in the coming years.

According to a report from Markets and Markets, the substation automation sector, which includes technologies such as intelligent electronic devices is expected to grow to nearly $123 billion by 2018 moving at a compound annual growth rate of 5.2 percent between 2013 and 2018. A need for a more efficient electric grid is expected to drive the growth of the market.

SUBNET has helped numerous utilities incorporate their renewable sources throughout the use of these technologies, allowing for a more efficient and streamlined grid.

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