Internet of Energy - IoE

What is the 'Internet of Energy - IoE'

Internet of Energy (IoE) refers to the upgrading and automating of electricity infrastructures for energy producers. This allows energy production to move forward more efficiently and cleanly with the least amount of waste.

BREAKING DOWN 'Internet of Energy - IoE'

Updating electric infrastructures allows energy to flow efficiently, maximizing its potential and reducing energy waste. When energy is transmitted over lines that cannot conduct it efficiently, much of that energy is lost along the way. The lines simply don't have the capacity to carry all the energy being sent.

As countries around the world invest more in green energy and renewable resources, the inefficiencies of existing power infrastructures around the world are often overlooked. This means that renewable energy cannot be provided at its optimum level of efficiency because the grid cannot fully support it. For example, China is one of the world's largest producers of renewable energy, but it still experiences shortages and energy crises because it cannot deliver that energy at a level that can sustain its population. This results in power outages and gaps. The energy exists but the infrastructure does not. Similarly, the country produces a massive number of electric vehicles but doesn't have sufficient charging stations, so the vehicles cannot operate. In 2014, China's energy loss due to infrastructure inefficiencies was larger than the energy used annually by many countries around the world.

The Future of the Internet of Energy

One potential solution to the problem of energy inefficiency is ultra-high voltage transmission (UHV), a system that allows energy to be transmitted rapidly over long distances. UHV solves the problem of energy production being located too far from load centers. China first implemented UHV in 2009, but its development is constantly expanding to meet demand.

China is working to automate distribution and add more resources to meet demand, including more charging stations for electric cars. It is also constructing storage sites, particularly in those cities that use the most energy, in order to store excess energy efficiently and close to where it will be needed. This will have added economic benefits for the companies supplying renewable energy, such as solar and wind, due to the fact that more energy will be retained and sold, in addition to relatively low storage costs.

In coming years, as the world works toward a reliance on and harvesting of renewable energy sources, the use of nonrenewable resources is expected to fall, which will reduce the need for outdated infrastructures that handle resources such as coal and oil.