Delivering energy to the growing global community efficiently and reliably is one of the major challenges of the coming decade. This challenge presents many opportunities with the evolution of the smart grid, which evolved as a result of this need for a more advanced power delivery mechanism.
The original grid consisted of generation at a power plant using traditional fossil fuels such as coal or nuclear energy. The energy generated from the centralized power plants was transported vast distances through a series of transmission and distribution (T&D) networks until it eventually reached the customer. This unidirectional energy flow is not viable in the 21st century because power generation is not centralized; it is distributed with more worldwide energy coming from renewable sources such as solar and wind power.