Smart grid architecture - key elements and definitions
Future, intelligent energy systems will have to face the challenge of integrating a large number of active components into existing energy management and operation schemes. For the successful integration of these components into the electric energy system, along with the new functions, market roles and technologies, information and communication technology (ICT) is a key enabler. In parallel to the technical changes, competition will increase significantly and there will be a need for greater direct intervention in the market in order to guarantee security of supply in a system that is operated closer to its stability boundaries. New sales and business models that rely on digitization and the increased use of ICT will create incentives for consumers to modify their energy usage patterns in order to become active participants in the grid operations. The security and commercial viability of such an energy system are vital for industrialized countries on the way to achieving a sustainable energy supply. ICT and the corresponding communication standards contribute to overcoming challenges of integration and interoperability within these highly decentralized structures. The use of ICT is crucial for improving the integration of the distributed energy resources (DERs) and help match generation to supply and achieve a higher level of customer benefit. This chapter provides an overview on how ICT and communication technology will provide meaningful inputs in terms of technological sets to drive this smart-grid transition process.