POWER UTILITY | Roxanne Uy, Singapore

What you need to know about the G3-PLC technology

It is the future of Asian electric grids.

A radical change is sweeping energy generation and distribution systems across the world. The rapid adoption of renewable energy sources means that electric grids need to become smarter, and energy companies must find the right technology in order to keep up with consumers’ swiftly changing energy consumption habits.

“Tomorrow’s electric grid will be totally different,” said Bernard Lassus, chairman of the G3-PLC Alliance.

“The management of this grid will be totally different. We will need data in order to manage this grid,” he said, speaking at the sidelines of the Alliance’s annual general assembly in Paris, France. Lassus noted that the increasing popularity of renewable energy sources, such as the rising use of photovoltaic cells, means that even ordinary consumers can now be producers of energy.

Technology has blurred the traditional line between energy producers and consumers. Against the backdrop of these changes, the G3-PLC Alliance advocates efficient grid management through the use of smart and reliable communication technology.

A cutting-edge solution

The G3-PLC, or 3rd Generation Power Line Communication, is a plug-and-play solution that uses the existing electric networks to carry information, so installation efforts are minimal. It is a radio-free solution that allows consumers to effectively monitor and manage their electricity consumption. Marc Delandre, general secretary of the G3-PLC Alliance, noted that it is a global standard that does not require any license fees.

"G3-PLC will still exist in 20 or 40 years, since it’s a mature but evolving technology, with always a backward compatibility with the previous version," he added. The technology is used around the world in smart metering, home energy management, street lighting, renewable energy, and electronic vehicle charging spots.

Lassus noted that 1 million G3-PLC products are on field today. The Alliance aims to have 10 million by 2017, and 100 million by 2020. The G3-PLC alliance is a consortium created in 2011 by 12 founding members to standardize and promote the G3-PLC technology on a worldwide scale.

It has more than 70 member companies today, including those from Japan, Singapore, China, India and Taiwan.

With reports from Marianne Estioco

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