Why Scotland may be the smart grid's next center of gravity


By: SGN Staff


Quick Take: Scotland has been quietly developing into a world center for renewable energy and smart grid. Scotland has several benefits that may bring it to a smart grid leadership role. For one thing, it has a strong commitment to renewables and, therefore, a strong commitment to the grid upgrades needed to efficiently transmit that power from Scotland to more populous parts of the UK and Europe. For another, it now has Europe's "a truly world-class research centre and the first of its kind in Europe," said Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond as quoted in Scotsman.com. - By Jesse Berst


A new 12.5 million euro research center in Cumbernauld Scotland will investigate smart grid enhancements to help carry renewable power more efficiently. Among other things, the Power Networks Demonstration Centre (PNDC) will seek to reduce transmission losses. Today, up to a tenth of electricity can be lost as it is transmitted along the network. The Centre will aim to improve on this.


The Centre uses its own microgrid to text new technologies. It is part of the larger Scottish Smart Grid Strategy, launched last year by the government in partnership with Scottish Power, SSE, Scottish Enterprise and the Scottish Funding Council.


Frank Mitchell, CEO of ScottishPower Energy Networks, said: "We are on the verge of delivering the largest upgrades to our electricity networks in more than half a century - which will see billions of pounds of investment and create thousands of jobs."


Added Salmond: "Smart grid technologies are increasingly important as we move to a low-carbon economy, helping to reduce energy waste and making it easier for homes and businesses to generate their own renewable energy.”


Jesse Berst is the founder and Chief Analyst of SGN and Chairman of the Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition.


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