2017 Electricity Improvements that you must know
There are several ongoing 2017 electricity improvements that range from national codes to new and better technologies in renewable energy. Energy providers and other industry players are always looking for ways to increase efficiency in the electrical generation, transmission, or distribution systems with the aim of reducing costs and increasing reliability and revenue. On the other hand, the manufacturers want to produce energy efficient appliances to ensure that their customers spend less on electricity bills.
Improving electricity systems is usually a continuous process. Some 2017 electricity improvements include, but not limited to
- National Electricity Codes
- Renewable Energy
- PV panels
- Energy Storage systems
- Automatic building and industrial Controls
- Lighting products such as lamps, fixtures, and controls
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- Digital Controls
- Automatic controls
- Generation, transmission and distribution systems
- Nonrenewable electricity generation
- Metering policies
Changes in electrical codes in 2017
The 2017 electricity improvements in the codes help in addressing existing standards and safety issues in the electrical systems. The changes in the codes help in improving the entire electrical systems from generation, transmission, and distribution to the customer’s wiring and applications. While some require immediate implementation, others are gradual and only mandatory for new installations or upgrades.
2017 electricity improvements in power generation
Prices of generating and storing solar energy continue to decrease, making them more affordable and reliable. As more consumers go solar, there are possibilities of becoming solely reliant on the renewable energy and leaving the grid which could spell doom for the energy generating and distribution companies.
There has been more growth in the renewable energy adoption as capital costs decline and the efficiency and electricity output of the solar panels increases. But as more people turn to renewable energy there are fears that the demand for fossil and coal will see a decline. This is likely to happen due to private businesses and government policy-driven economic incentives that encourage more people to go solar.
The cost of acquiring the solar power systems continue to decline while improvements in technology have seen an increase in, capacity, efficiency output, and reliability.
Economic empowerment is enabling people to acquire more equipment hence increasing the demand for electricity. However, renewable energy has filled the gap and provided additional energy which is likely to retire the older and inefficient fossil fuel generators.
Most utilities prefer to use natural gas and renewable sources to increase capacity as opposed to the traditional and expensive fossil fuel generators
Overcoming challenges in the renewable energy systems
One of the main challenges of renewable energy is the intermittent nature of the sources. For example, consumers can only harvest solar energy during the sunny days and none at night. This means that they either have to rely on the grid during the times they are not generating any electricity, or use the power which they store during the day. There have been several improvements in both options. This is making the systems more favorable since the PV owners can sell their excess energy instead of allowing it to go to waste.
Recent utility rate structures allow more homeowners and businesses to adopt the renewable energy and integrate it into the grid. It is now easier for customers with PVs or wind turbines to export and store or sell excess energy to the grid, and then receive the power when their generation is low. For example, a customer will send the power from the solar system during the day, and then retrieve it from the grid during the night when there is no sun.
Other than the grid system, the 2017 electricity improvements include advances in storage technologies that have caused an increase in capacity and reduction of costs for batteries and other systems.
Electricity generating plants
Other 2017 electricity improvements include the completion of various renewable and nonrenewable power generating projects, upgrading of existing systems to improve efficiency and safety, and more.
There has been more growth in the renewable and natural gas power generation and seen a decline in coal generation. With increasing renewable energy adoption, some traditional generating plants such as coal and fossil fuel based will soon be retired.
Growth of Smart electricity grid
Utilities continue to modernize electrical distribution systems leading to smart grids with computer processing and two-way communications. However, even as the systems continue to get better, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks and other security issues. There are still fears of cyber criminals penetrating into the systems and manipulating them.
Although there are many benefits of smart grids, hackers can compromise the computer systems and disrupt the grid or steal energy from other customers or the utility company.
Discussions on electrical systems
A number of conferences covering different areas are in place for the 2017 electricity improvements. Major conversations revolve around renewable energy generation, efficient generation, transmission and distribution systems, micro grids, mitigation against cyber attacks, etc.
Drones technology in electrical systems
Some notable 2017 electricity improvements include the use of drones to inspect and assess facilities and transmission lines in normal, remote and harsh environments. Drones provide one of the safety, fast and cost effective means of inspecting and identifying problems in a wide range of structures.
The industry is also discussing trends in technology that has the ability to improve operations and asset protection.
How electric vehicles are influencing electrical systems
The increase in the number of electric cars has also impacted on the power sector. Other 2017 electricity improvements include more charge stations for public and even domestic car charging. There now more affordable charge stations that allows electric car owners to charge at home, workplace or public stations.
Due to the 2017 electricity improvements, there is fewer carbon emissions and environmental degradation. This can be attributed to the favorable conditions that are enabling more homeowners, businesses and utility companies to invest in renewable energy sources.