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Lessons for the rest of us
What they found may offer important lessons for an urban island, like Manhattan, which is not remote, but suffers the same problem of high electricity costs and detachment from power supply. New York City's dense population leaves little room for new power plants or delivery wires, so the city needs to use its existing infrastructure to maximum advantage. Even more important, the research offers promise for the U.S. as a whole, as it increasingly integrates wind power into its grid. So the next step for Ilic and team is to see if their application works on such a large scale.
Ultimately, the project could change the way U.S. and European policymakers plan power portfolios, according to Ilic. Green energy policy now centers on specific, somewhat arbitrary targets set by government. New York, for example, wants 30% of its electricity to come from green sources by 2015. The challenge for states like New York then becomes: Can we make the goal?
But to Ilic such goals put the cart before the horse; building capacity before knowing how much the existing system can handle. "We asked the question differently. If you were to put in more renewable energy, how would you manage it and what is the pay off?"
Ilic added: "We must revisit how we operate and plan the system, and then identify what is most effective. There is a lot we can do before we go and build."
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|Aren't we really talking about MicroGrids? Essentially smart grids that can operate for long periods of time islanded?|
|Spencer Zirkelbach - 04/10/2012 - 07:10|
|Sounds like a micro grid which leverages the existing resource base network.|
|Gladwyn D'Souza - 04/10/2012 - 09:45|