Providing energy, typically in the form of electricity or gas, depends on a complex infrastructure that connects generating plants end users through a distribution network. In addition to reliably guarantee availability and power quality, this integrated system must be run with the maximum possible efficiency.
New sources of renewable energy, such as solar and wind, are increasingly integrated with conventional generation systems to meet growing demand while helping reduce CO2 emissions and potentially help lower costs for both the provider and consumer. Renewable sources have also pushed for innovations in many ways including energy storage technologies which is a key enabler to the integration of conventional sources and renewable ones, whose availability is loosely predictable especially during peak hours.
We call this the Smart Grid, a generation and distribution system were every node – from a meter in someone’s home to a micro cogeneration installation -– is also connected with a data communication network able to handle the massive data flow and information management systems needed to seamlessly integrate sources and provide consumers with quality high-power energy generated with the lowest possible environmental footprint.
As a world-leading semiconductor manufacturer, ST is actively involved in the development of products and technologies that can enable this vision.