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Taiwan shows promise for leading smart grid revolution

SUBNET Solutions Inc | Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Taiwan Power, the utility of the East Asian state, appears to have a strong grasp on how to modernize its electric grid in a way that could be far more reliable than other countries' smart grid projects.

According to Greentech Media, Taiwan Power has created a vertically integrated system to provide its services, and has introduced a wide range of substation automation components to the grid, as well as a strong fault isolation and restoration system. The utility is still expecting to run into the same problems as many other countries, including the integration of renewable sources into the grid, pressure for state regulators to lower the amount of new investments in generation and transmission and designs for installing more smart grid technologies such as intelligent electronic devices.

However, unlike other utilities, Taiwan Power is in the infancy of its smart grid planning, and still has the opportunity to design the entire grid around smart grid programs and advanced communication networks. What's more, the country is in a great position to learn from the mistakes that have been made in other countries around the world.

The country is now on the verge of a major smart grid improvement plan in which it will spend $4 billion to modernize its grid through higher reliability, greater emissions reduction, more use of green energy and the development of a low-carbon smart grid industry worth about $30 billion, according to the news source.

About $2.74 billion of the total will be used for advanced metering infrastructure, and another $800 million with be used solely to improve distribution automation and further introduce substation intelligence. The rest of the funds will be used to lower emissions and spur economic activity.

Similar to the U.S., the utility's smart meter plans have grabbed the most attention, however, the utility says the most important piece of the smart grid will be establishing a next-generation communications network that will be a linchpin for the rest of the program and all of its facets.

SUBNET has created several products that help utilities with this crucial part of smart grid deployments. With SUBNET technologies, utilities can collect, analyze and manage the huge amounts of data that are derived from intelligent electronic devices, which can be used to greatly increase overall operating efficiency. 

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