Critics of GE’s Ecomagination program – which is said to offer cleaner, smarter power solutions – claim that GE is simply airbrushing an unsustainable model, perpetuating the very consumer culture that needs to be curtailed if homo sapiens expect to survive its own damage to this planet. This model has been exported not only to Masdar City, where GE has set up a major hub, but most recently to Turkey. And therefore, by extension, to Europe, since this month Turkey will connect to Europe’s power grid using GE’s smart grid technology.
“The connection will allow for expanded energy and economic opportunities. The Turkish Electricity Transmission Company (TEIAS) will now be able to buy and sell power in the European electricity market and the connection will strengthen the reliability and availability of energy throughout all of Europe,” according to a marketwatch press release.
The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Electricity (ENTSO-E) experiences among the highest energy demands worldwide. As such, it has become essential to create a delivery model that is efficient without crippling the environment.
To this end, ENTSO’E countries are “driving a single market model through the synchronization of more networks,” according to the report.
Meanwhile, Turkey benefits from this connection by being able import and export energy across its borders. There is hope that through the World Bank Clean Technology Fund, with a little help from GE technology, Turkey will generate 20% of its energy through sustainable means by 2020.
Already, according to GE, Turkey has developed two wind farms – the Sares and the Karadag – using GE’s larger wind turbines and generating enough electricity to power 59,000 homes, but has developed only 600 MW of its potential 88 GW of renewable energy sources to date.”
“Smart grid solutions are opening energy opportunities in new ways every day,” said Bob Gilligan, vice president–digital energy for GE Energy Services. “Our communications and control technologies are enabling international trade and power-sharing breakthroughs that seemed nearly impossible just a few years ago. When Turkey joins the European energy community, it will be a vital step forward for power systems on both sides of the connection.”
Quality and reliability
The cross-border smart grid connectivity that was engineered in mere months, according to GE, will monitor the grid’s status at connection points, control generation and load automatically, and improve power sharing, quality, and reliability while reducing power outages.
While this is in part a positive development – since Turkey seeks to develop and share energy produced from wind, geothermal and other non-fossil means – there is very little mention of reducing demand. Though perhaps harmful to GE’s business plan, reduced demand would also go far towards alleviating our energy crisis.
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