Creating a 'Smart' Grid Will Be a Challenge

Creating a "smart" grid to better handle the nation's electricity sounds like a great idea, but the job's going to be a tough -- and expensive.
April 28, 2009, 8am PDT | Nate Berg
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"A smart grid -- a digital network enabling utilities, consumers and alternative sources of renewable energy to "talk" to one another instantaneously -- could steer electricity to where it is needed most."

"In the economic stimulus act that the president signed in February, Congress allocated $4.5 billion for smart grid investments, a thin slice of the $38.7 billion that the package funneled to the Department of Energy."

"...The Electric Power Research Institute, a utility industry think tank, has estimated the cost of building a smart grid at a staggering $165 billion -- about $8 billion a year for two decades."

"And one of the biggest challenges in rolling out a smart grid, energy experts say, is getting hundreds of industries, from power generators to appliance and auto manufacturers, to agree on a set of standards -- some already developed, many not ready yet."

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Published on Monday, April 27, 2009 in Los Angeles Times
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