Energy-Efficient Information and Communication Infrastructures in the Smart Grid: A Survey on Interactions and Open Issues

Smart grid has modernized the way electricity is generated, transported, distributed, and consumed by integrating advanced sensing, communications, and control in the day-to-day operation of the grid. Electricity is a core utility for the functioning of society and for the services provided by information and communication technologies (ICTs). Several concepts of the smart grid, such as dynamic pricing, distributed generation, and demand management, have significantly impacted the operation of ICT services, in particular, communication networks and data centers. Ongoing energy-efficiency and operational expenditures reduction efforts in communication networks and data centers have gained another dimension with those smart grid concepts. In this paper, we provide a comprehensive survey on the smart grid-driven approaches in energy-efficient communications and data centers, and the interaction between smart grid and information and communication infrastructures. Although the studies on smart grid, energy-efficient communications, and green data centers have been separately surveyed in previous studies, to this end, research that falls in the intersection of those fields has not been properly classified and surveyed yet.

We start our survey by providing background information on the smart grid and continue with surveying smart grid-driven approaches in energy-efficient communication systems, followed by energy, cost and emission minimizing approaches in data centers, and the corresponding cloud network infrastructure.We discuss the open issues in smart grid-driven approaches in ICTs and point some important research directions such as the distributed renewable energy generation capability-coupled communication infrastructures, optimum energy-efficient network design for the smart grid environment, the impact of green communication techniques on the reliability and latency requirements of smart grid data, workload consolidation with smart grid-awareness, and many more.