Estimating the Benefits of the Gridwise Initiative: Phase I Report

By Walter S. Baer; Brent Fulton et al. | Go to book overview

Summary

This report presents the initial (Phase I) results of a two-phase project undertaken to characterize and estimate the benefits of applying advanced communications and information technologies, through the GridWiseTM initiative, to bring the aging U.S. electricity grid into the information age.

GridWise is a vision, a concept, and a national initiative developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), and participants from the electricity industry. GridWise seeks to link electricity suppliers and end-users with high-speed networks that provide realtime information about system capacities, demand, prices, and status. Its proponents anticipate that the integration of communications and information with the electricity grid will facilitate competitive, efficient markets for power, enable each participant to actively manage its own production and consumption decisions, help the system balance supply and demand under both normal and stressful conditions, and in general provide diagnostic information and tools to better manage both system operations and end-user applications.

The essence of GridWise is the revealing of value to all parties through information and communications, so that the least-cost resources are used to meet new demand for power and its underlying infrastructure. Markets may be the simplest and most transparent way to reveal value, but regulatory approaches using incentives and resource bidding appear workable as well. Whether in a regulated utility environment or in a deregulated market-based system, advanced information and communications technologies are the keys to revealing value and enabling stakeholders to act on the opportunities presented to them. While this analysis relies on a competitive market model to characterize and estimate benefits from implementing GridWise, we recognize that such benefits may also be realized in a regulated system or in one with both competitive and regulated components.

Smoothing out the daily peaks and valleys of electricity production and consumption can benefit both electricity suppliers and end-users. With GridWise, end-users will see time-varying prices that reflect high supply costs when power consumption peaks and lower costs at other times. Users can then adjust their peak and off-peak demands, either manually or by programming their appliances and other electrical equipment to respond to price signals. This

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Estimating the Benefits of the Gridwise Initiative: Phase I Report
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Preface iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Tables ix
  • Summary xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Acronyms and Abbreviations xvii
  • 1 - Introduction 1
  • 2 - A Framework for Assessing Gridwise Benefits 7
  • 3 - Phase I Estimates of Gridwise Benefits 12
  • 4 - Discussion 29
  • 5 - Plans for Phase II 35
  • Appendix A - Microeconomic Discussion of Gridwise-Enabled Demand Response 37
  • Appendix B - Baseline Projections, 2001–2005, Without Gridwise 43
  • Appendix C - Results and Input Variables, by Scenario 49
  • Appendix D - Estimates of Benefits for Nominal Scenario 51
  • References 55
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