Practically everything was destroyed where the earthquake and tsunami was worst in the Tohoku region. Huge funds and time will be required to replace the entire infrastructure simultaneously. “The Smart Grid zone” is one way to think of this disaster not just negatively through the devastation, but also as offering opportunities to reconstruct something new.
This kind of smart grid plan has been anticipated globally for some time, but it hasn’t been tried out extensively anywhere yet. Some say this is a great chance to try it out, on a large scale, as a controlled trial. Old or new, renewing the infrastructure will cost enormous amounts of money, so it should not be so difficult to justify trying out the latest technology instead.
A senior executive from a major electric company said “The power line infrastructure is extensive and therefore very expensive. If trying to change over from current to future technology the costs can be higher and also the risk at changeover from one system to the other can be unacceptably high.”
He went on “The smart grid plan was expected in the US at first but so far they haven’t implemented it. It is true, the technology isn’t mature yet, but utilizing Japanese technology and knowhow, we are sure we can design and implement a world-class system.”
“A senior executive of Panasonic Micro Grid Technology, said they are willing to invest in ways to regenerate the electricity supply infrastructure in the Tohoku region. Many other companies have the same enthusiasm, including electricity companies working on power lines, IT companies working on Smart grid technology (as mentioned above), and companies working on renewable energy systems such as wind, solar and hydro.”
The automotive industry seems passive towards the integration of smart grid and Electric Vehicles (EV). For example, a vehicle developer in Nissan says, “The original way to use EV is only on the road” and a Mitsubishi output device developer says, “We are not responsible for the degradation of the battery when using the EV with smart grid.” Maybe now is the time for the automotive industry to work more positively with the electric companies and stop thinking negative against smart grid.