Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Terminology Tuesday: "Smart Grid"

A "smart grid" refers to the transmission grid - the highway that delivers our electricity. Making it "smarter" means a total modernization of the transmission and distribution of our energy, from using cleaner sources like renewables to energy efficiency upgrades like meters that tell homeowners their real-time energy use.

Eventually, the hope is that we energy users will be able to interact with the smart grid like we do with the internet - getting the most up-to-date information to make informed choices about when and how we use electricity.

Some utilities and cities have already begun experimenting with smart grids. For example, Xcel Energy is working with the city of Boulder, Colorado to construct more than 100 miles of fiber optic cables and install 15,000 smart meters. Once the system is in place, 10,000 Boulder residents will be able to track their energy use online. They will even be able to time the use of their electricity for when the power is the least expensive (typically at night).

via Inhabitat

2 comments:

granny said...

hello all
president obama's energy plan will be a disaster for the united states - minnesota has all ready started the cap and trade carbon tax - this is a tax that will be put on all the food you eat, the products you buy, gas for your car, and the energy to heat your home. worse yet industry and business is the greatest user of energy. this added cost will cause minnesota businesses to be at a disadvantage to countries where energy is cheap and abundant. where do you think all the jobs will go, to a high tax, high energy cost state like minnesota, I THINK NOT. ARE YOU WILL TO GIVE UP YOUR JOB AND LIFESTYLE IN THE NAME OF THE GLOBAL WARMING HOAX - I AM NOT.
wasting money on renewable energy is pouring money down a rat hole. there is no viable energy source that has the remotest possibility of replacing coal and gas power plants in the near or even far future. wind and solor are very expensive and worst yet very unreliable.
china is inversting heavily in developing their own natural resources. in addition they are working with cuba to develope oil fields in our own gulf of mexico. china is also working with argentina to develope their newly discoverd offshore oil fields. china is working to ensure they have a cheap and abundant supply of oil to allow them to grow and prosper.
president obama is stopping the developemnet of our own natural resorces and wasting money on windmills and solar cells.
WHICH COUNTRY DO YOU THINK WILL HAVE A PROSPEROUS FUTUNE ?

Maria Surma Manka said...

Granny - Minnesota has not started a carbon tax nor a cap-and-trade policy, so I'm not sure what you're referring to. Rather, we are investing in wind power, which has revitalized rural communities all over our state and the region, from community wind projects to lease payments to landowners.

Oil and natural gas are not going away tomorrow, but we can and must diversify our energy sources with renewables - rather than over-relying so heavily on coal and oil like we do now.