Our electric grid is a marvel of 20th-century engineering, but it is showing signs of strain. This webpage contains a video showing the current electric grid, its starting, and how electricity is generated in a coal burning plant using steam turbines. It mentions that in traditional method, 50% of energy is wasted in generation, transmission and distribution. To keep the grid stable, we need special peaker plants which serve only for about 100 hours a year but accounting for 25% to total electricity cost. Besides these inefficiencies, coal burning plants produce green house gases.
The video shows how smart meters can be utilized to handle peak demand in a much better way. It emphasizes that the grid, one of the largest interconnected machines, must be endowed with embedded intelligence.
This information was submitted by Jeremy Laundergan, Director, Utility Services Consulting, EnerNex, firstname.lastname@example.org on 10/17/2011.