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How tech developers are modernizing the power grid to fight the climate crisis

Energy grids have undergone immense change in recent years with the introduction of smart devices, new hardware, and software solutions that enable communication and data exchange. While these shifts signal a positive trend toward widespread renewables adoption, utility companies struggle to analyze and improve the power grid’s efficiency.

Even with more connected devices and new methods to generate energy, outdated processes continue to force operators to create nonstandard solutions to solve challenges. Standards implementation usually vary between vendors’ control systems and devices, and accessing grid data requires several different devices, each of which may involve different processes.

In addition, we’ve historically delivered electricity in one direction, preventing operators from controlling loads on a small scale. This leads to losses in efficiency when supply and demand aren’t properly matched. With more devices such as batteries, solar panels, wind turbines and non-wired solutions at the edge, supply and demand are more unpredictable. The current infrastructure limits communication of information about energy and the creation of automated multidirectional intelligence across grids. This complexity will only increase, and we’ll need to use AI and automation to facilitate transactions at microsecond intervals to remain safe and balanced.

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