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What is a smart grid?

A smart grid is an evolved grid system that manages electricity demand in a sustainable, reliable and economic manner, built on advanced infrastructure and tuned to facilitate the integration of all involved.

Smart electricity - efficient power for a sustainable world

Electricity is the most versatile and widely used form of energy and global demand is growing continuously. Generation of electrical energy, however, is currently the largest single source of carbon dioxide emissions, making a significant contribution to climate change. To mitigate the consequences of climate change, the current electrical system needs to undergo significant adjustments.

The electrical power system was built up over more than 100 years. It is now one of the most effective components of the infrastructure on which modern society depends. It delivers electrical energy to industry, commercial and residential consumers, meeting ever-growing demand.

Most of today's generation capacity relies on fossil fuels and contributes significantly to the increase of carbon dioxide in the world's atmosphere, with negative consequences for the climate and society in general.
To satisfy both the increasing demand for power and the need to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, we need an electric system that can handle these challenges in a sustainable, reliable and economic way.

The future belongs to smart grids

Smart grids will provide more electricity to meet rising demand, increase reliability and quality of power supplies, increase energy efficiency, be able to integrate low carbon energy sources into power networks.
Smart grids possess demand response capacity to help balance electrical consumption with supply, as well as the potential to integrate new technologies to enable energy storage devices and the large-scale use of electric vehicles.
Electrical systems will undergo a major evolution, improving reliability and reducing electrical losses, capital expenditures and maintenance costs. A smarter grid will provide greater control over energy costs and a more reliable energy supply for consumers. Environmental benefits of a smarter grid include reduced peak demand, integration of more renewable power sources, and reduced CO2 emissions and other pollutants.
ABB believes the smart grid is the future for electrical systems, as it is designed to meet the four major electricity requirements of our global society: capacity, reliability, efficiency and sustainability.