Smart grids have, so far, ensured grid resilience successfully to the extent that no major grid reliability issues have been reported during the pandemic. Several countries reported a shift in electricity consumption patterns, with an increase in loads related to domestic air-conditioning or heating, a decline in demand from electric vehicle charging stations, and flattening of the peak demand. Grid flexibility can better manage such demand shifts.
Somik Das, Senior Power Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Flexibility and resilience of the grid becomes a key parameter that can ensure energy security to critical infrastructures. Although it is highly unlikely that the COVID-19 pandemic will lead to blackouts, natural calamities such as hurricanes, wildfires and extensive rainfall would cause major outages and worsen the situation at emergency response centers, hospitals, critical healthcare facilities and essential services. Therefore, it is critical that the flexibility and resilience of the power grid is aintained to ensure energy security to critical infrastructures.
“Furthermore, smart grid facilitates grid flexibility as it includes a broad mix of technologies that enhance the automation, control and measurement of the grid infrastructure. High grid flexibility increases operational effectiveness and resilience of the grid.”
Countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, and Japan are key players in the grid flexibility market. There are no considerable delays reported in the execution of the pilot projects in these countries due to COVID-19. However, countries that planned to introduce grid flexibility projects in the first half of the year might have to wait for the crisis to ease.”