Trend: Smart grid technology, designed to increase energy efficiency, received a boost from $3.4 billion in grants from the Obama administration.
The focus is on smart meter installations, including advanced metering infrastructure, customer systems, electric distribution systems, electric transmission systems, equipment manufacturing, and integrated and/or crosscutting systems. Excerpts below.
President Obama traveled to Florida to highlight DOE awards to 100 utilities, equipment manufacturers, cities, systems developers and other recipients. The winners have committed $4.7 billion of their own resources to match the smart grid grants.
The president sketched his vision of a clean-energy future marrying solar panels, advanced storage batteries, plug-in electric hybrid cars, home energy management systems and smart appliances together in a grid studded with new sensors and control devices.
Smart grid technologies will reduce electricity use by more than 4 percent by 2030, saving $20 billion in customer costs that year and cutting greenhouse gas emissions accordingly, the White House said, citing analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Demands for "peak" power on the hottest summer days could drop by 20 percent. Tens of thousands of new jobs will be created, the administration projects. "We're on the cusp of this new energy future," Obama said at a solar energy center in Arcadia, Fla. "In fact, a lot of it is already taking place."