Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Smart grid continues to be in news

The “smart grid” has become the buzz of the electric power industry, at the White House and among members of Congress, according to a report filed by AP.

A company like Cisco believes that the smart-grid infrastructure market size could be worth more than $20 billion a year for the next five years.

“It’s the marriage of information technology and automation technology with the existing electricity network. This is the energy Internet,” reportedly said Bob Gilligan, vice president for transmission at GE Energy.

The Obama Administration has recently announced a new solicitation for around $4 billion in stimulus, funding for new power- transmission technology.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, there are plans to distribute more than $3.3 billion in smart grid technology development grants and an additional $615 million for smart grid storage, monitoring and technology viability.

According to Max Schulz, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, the irony in the stimulus package’s approach to grid investment is that private industry has long made clear its willingness to spend its own money to fix the grid, as long as Washington allows utilities and transmission companies to do it the right way.

“What the industry actually needs from Washington to fix the grid isn't money, but leadership,” he wrote recently. “That leadership can’t come soon enough. Even with robust energy-efficiency and conservation measures, the U.S. economy will require 30% more electricity by 2030.”

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