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Smart grid system touted to reduce value chain losses.

Byline: Binsal Abdul Kader

Abu Dhabi Smart grid, an advanced system in the power sector, can reduce the loss in value chain of energy which is about 80 per cent globally, an expert said at the World Future Energy Summit which was held in the nation's capital on Wednesday.

Smart grid can reduce the losses by 20 to 30 per cent, said Dr Peter Terwiesch, Chief Technology Officer at ABB Asea Brown Boveri Ltd at a session titled "Energy Efficiency : The role of the consumer in ensuring smart grid reaches its potential".

A smart grid delivers electricity from suppliers to consumers using two-way digital technology to control appliances at consumers' homes to save energy, reduce cost and increase reliability and transparency.

The smart grid can also minimise transmission loss and commercial loss [due to theft etc], Terwiesch said.

Depending on the size of the country, transmission loss ranges from 6 to 15 per cent and commercial loss in some countries comes around 13 to 44 per cent, he explained.

Europe will save 30 billion euros (Dh154 billion) per year by introducing smart grids in the power sector, said Rend Stephan, Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group in Abu Dhabi.

But one third of the benefits of smart grid should come from consumer behaviour, he said. "That's why the awareness of the consumer is very important", he said.

Because of different tariffs at different times of the day, the grid may look confusing to customers , but it will be clear gradually, Stephan explained.

The Middle East governments may also think about smart grid, as it may come up soon in Abu Dhabi, he said. "It was reported that Masdar City, the carbon neutral city in Abu Dhabi is thinking of establishing smart grid," Stephan said.

Masdar officials were not available for comment.


pretending to be green

"The consumers purchasing eco-friendly products pretend that they are altruistic but actually they are not", said an expert on smart grid technology, an energy saving system in the power sector.

"The aegreen customers' will say they are purchasing aegreen products' to minimise global warming and protect nature," said Rend Stephan, Partner and Managing Director of the Boston Consulting Group in Abu Dhabi.

"And they will switch off electric gadgets when not in use. But if you ask them to eat less meat and purchase fuel efficient cars, they will not," he explained. These are the findings of several consumer surveys, Stephan said.

About 30 per cent of the customers preferred aegreen products' in Europe during 2007-2009, he said. Still there is a growing awareness about eco-friendly products and practices, he added.

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Publication:Gulf News (United Arab Emirates)
Date:Jan 22, 2010
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