smart grid

Modernizing the Grid

Utilities are spending billions of dollars to make the grid more reliable and sustainable.

In my last post, I talked about how Obama’s Clean Power plan was the right response to a changing grid. The grid is in the process of changing even more. Itwas designed for some relatively straightforward tasks. The main power plants, mostly burning coal (but sometimes natural gas or nuclear energy), ran day and night. …


Guest Blogger Joel Eisen: D.C. Circuit Vacates FERC Smart Grid “Demand Response” Rule

Joel B. Eisen is Professor of Law and Austin Owen Research Fellow at University of Richmond School of Law. His scholarly work is available here. Last Friday (May 23), in Electric Power Supply Association v. FERC, a D.C. Circuit panel split 2-1 and vacated Order 745, a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) rule designed to …


Jump-Starting Clean Tech

A new report illuminates the role of the stimulus package in energizing Clean Tech.  Three of the four areas discussed in the report fall into this category; the fourth relates to medical research. 1. Modernizing transportation, including advanced vehicle technology and high-speed rail. Among other things, this includes $2 billion in advanced battery and electric …


Smart Meters and Smart Regulation

The poor little smart meter…it keeps catching all kinds of grief when all that it wants to do is save the planet. It is all things to all people. To utilities, regulators, and many environmentalists, it is the doorway to a modern green grid that will teach you to turn down your air conditioner when …


A Smart Grid Requires Smart Planning

Two-way instant communication, ever-changing electricity prices, lightning-fast micro-switches – the smart grid is all the rage.  In fact, a report just issued by a firm called Pike Research contains the prediction that worldwide expenditure on smart grid stuff will exceed $200 billion over the next five years.  The hope is that a smarter grid will …


As Digital TV Goes, So Goes the Smart Grid?

Today, we bid a nostalgic farewell to analog television, as all broadcast stations are required to deliver a digital signal.  Do the challenges the nation has faced in making this not-so-momentous transition suggest a bumpy road ahead as policymakers push for a “smart” electric grid?  Should low income and minority consumers be especially concerned? Most …


How Smart Can You Get?

It is said that it cost $3 million to air a 30 second advertisement during last weekend’s Superbowl. If that is the case, then General Electric chose to spend that much (plus change for production cost) to run a cute little musical piece based on the Scarecrow’s song from the Wizard of Oz — “If …