Balancing power from various energy sources is one of the vital tasks of today’s smart grid concept. The inevitable energy supply increase from renewable energy sources will require a flexible, cost efficient and rapidly adjustable power system. The improved flexibility of the smart grid permits greater penetration of a great variety of renewable energy sources such as solar power and wind power.
Rapid fluctuations in distributed generation as a result of, for example, cloudy or blustery conditions present significant challenges to power engineers who must work to ensure stable power levels by varying the output of the more controllable generators such as hydroelectric generators and gas turbines. Smart grid technology is therefore a necessary prerequisite for much of the renewable electricity on the grid. Demand response support allows generators and loads to interact in an automated fashion in real time.
Norway is well known for its well functioning power system, which is the result of long-term operations in rough environmental conditions including harsh weather in the mountains and by the sea. Our present electrical grid system evolved in the late 1800s as a centralised, unidirectional, demand-driven control system to generate electricity for local industry. During the 20th century, the grids developed into an internationally interconnected power system thus becoming more efficient, economical and reliable. The concept of smart power generation consists of matching electricity production with demand using multiple energy sources that can start, stop and operate efficiently at a chosen load, independently of each other. This makes them suitable for base load and peaking power generation.