Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Smart Grid Dream

Our current "grid" is not smart. At least, that's what GE indicated during their recent Super Bowl ad. Others agree. The organization, Repower America, indicates that our grid is "...old, balkanized and too limited in its reach." They are right. It doesn't encourage use of renewable energy sources and doesn't know how to store energy for use at peak energy consumption times.

The good news is that there are a lot of smart people out there working on fixing this problem. The solution is a modern network that can efficiently and quickly transport electricity all over the country. It is a smart grid that can store energy when there is an abundance and use it elsewhere. It is a smart grid where consumers can control their usage levels and sell energy back to the electricity company. Sounds like a win-win situation.

It is excititng to see big and well-established companies like GE taking large steps toward solving this problem. They have an excellent and fun website where you can learn more about what they are doing to help create the smart grid: Eco Imagination

Another cool company working on the consumer and utility company side of things is GridPoint. Their mission is "to make the Smart Grid a reality by aligning the interests of electric utilities, consumers and the environment." Pretty awesome.

Obviously, this will also require some help from Washington D.C. We need regulations that encourage investors to pour money into renewable energy and the smart grid. This is where you can help. Go to this site to learn more and raise your voice for clean energy.

Additional resources:
Hot, Flat and Crowded by Thomas Friedman

Dream, be smart, and save the planet.

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