NewEnergyNews: WHAT CONSUMERS DON’T KNOW COULD SLOW SMART GRID

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    Friday, May 11, 2012

    WHAT CONSUMERS DON’T KNOW COULD SLOW SMART GRID

    Consumer Ignorance Could Hinder Smart Grid Progress

    Angela Beniwal, 6 May 2012 (Renew Grid)

    “Convincing consumers to accept smart grid technology will not be an easy task, but it is vitally important if grid modernization is to achieve its full potential, according to participants who took part in a roundtable discussion hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Great River Energy.

    “One big obstacle is conveying the message to consumers that the success of the smart grid is tied to the performance of the grid overall…Consumers may not necessarily think about how important grid reliability is to their everyday lives [and their cell phone and iPad]…”

    “Those familiar with the smart grid know what kind of advances such technology can bring, such as restoring power more quickly, improving system efficiency and reducing peak load…[It is] estimated that approximately 42,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines need to be added to the existing 450,000 miles of lines in order to meet future energy demands…[That will] cost about $82 billion over 10 years…

    “…[Some say] fiscal incentives will encourage consumers to respond to smart grid initiatives…Surveys have shown that co-ops have a great amount of credibility, which helps tremendously with such things as a smart grid deployment, and utilities should act as partners to customers…”

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