In today's multifaceted energy world, a growing number of prosumer assets are increasing the complexity of power grids. This is even more important in an ever-changing climate that more and more generates huge storms such as the Typhoon Lekima which caused 9.3 Billion in damage (5th Costliest known Pacific typhoons) and more than 90 deaths in the Philippines, Taiwan and China earlier this year, or the recent monstrous Category 5 Hurricane Dorian in the Atlantic Ocean. The director-general of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, Joy Jibrilu, details the damage left in the aftermath from Hurricane Dorian and what the Bahamas will need to move forward especially on the infrastructures. This looks too similar to what we've seen in Porto Rico two years ago which suffered severe damage from the category 5 hurricane Maria. The blackout as a result of Maria has been identified as the largest in US history and the second-largest in world history.
Existing power grids were designed to transmit electricity over relatively short distances, however, increasingly grids are required to supply major cities from remote offshore wind farms at the same time as integrating local generation. With generators feeding variable amounts of energy from renewable sources into the grid at all voltage levels, it is more difficult to balance supply and demand, and the risks of overloads and fluctuations increase.
Ever imagined using energy from your own rooftop solar panels to power all your air-conditioning units, heat up water and charge your smartphone? This can now be a reality. In Singapore, smart-enabled HDB flats to be completed in Punggol next year will allow homeowners to track energy consumption via a mobile app, and control just about any appliance that is connected to a power source. By 2040, one billion households and 11 billion smart appliances can actively participate in interconnected electricity systems, allowing these to alter when to draw electricity from the grid, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). Other demand sectors, such as transport, buildings and industry, are also feeling the effects of a seismic shift in the energy sector.
The global energy demands are growing every year, and fossil fuels won't be able to fulfill our energy needs in the future. Carbon emissions from fossil fuels hit an all-time high in 2018 due to increased energy consumption. On the other hand, renewable energy is emerging out as a reliable alternative to fossil fuels. It is much safer and cleaner than conventional sources. With the advancements in technology, the renewable energy sector has made significant progress in the last decade.