Can Grid Computing Rescue the Planet?

GridCC or 'grid-enabled remote instrumentation with distributed control and computation' is seen in the UK as a means of managing the variable power output of distributed energy facilities like wind farms and wave energy plants located in remote areas.

Published: 18-Jan-2005

archers claimed on Monday that grid computing may be the answer to managing the increasing number of renewable energy sources that could eventually be integrated into the UK's power network

Brunel University and Imperial College London are part of the GridCC organisation which is investigating how distributed computing can be used to create a real-time computing grid to coordinate inexpensive, reliable, cheap and sustainable energy supplies.

Currently the National Grid uses a small number of large data centres to monitor energy use but researchers believe the energy network will become increasingly complex in the future, so the technology that controls it will have to change to keep pace.

As the UK attempts to meet its targets for lowering carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, as part of the Kyoto Protocol, an increasing number of smaller renewable power sources - such as wind farms and those that use wave energy - will be added into the current system creating a much more complex energy grid.

Professor Malcolm Irving of Brunel University's school of engineering and design said: "As the UK moves to renewable sources of energy to reduce carbon emissions, a larger number of small generators will be connected to the power system, which will require more active and dynamic operation."

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