The Green Smart Grid Initiative
Developing a Smart Grid to Help Address Climate Change
Few issues are getting more attention within the energy industry and among policymakers these days than the smart grid and climate change. Yet most do not see these two areas as being connected. More precisely, the smart grid – and smart grid practices like demand response – is not being viewed as having a role in the attainment of climate change goals.
Demand response, the heart of the smart grid, could account for
a fifth of U.S. electricity.
FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, cited by Reuters, “Smart Grid
Good for Big Solar, Wind: US Regulator,” October 2009 view
source website »
The Green Smart Grid Initiative (GSGI) is an effort to demonstrate that the smart grid indeed can be a major positive force in addressing climate change. Among the issues it seeks to help parties gain an understanding of are the following:
Smart Grid and Renewable Energy
There is widespread consensus that increasing the use of renewable energy is a key component of any strategy and plan for addressing climate change.
Smart Grid and Energy Efficiency Another consensus building block in plans to address climate change is energy efficiency. Most energy efficiency efforts are focused on replacement of devices and equipment with more efficient items, or focused on energy efficient design and labeling of products and buildings. »»»
An Essential Role
Because of its impact on renewable energy and energy efficiency, a smarter grid is a greener grid, and the Green Smart Grid not only has a role to play in addressing climate change, but is likely essential in allowing climate change goals to be reached.
“We'll fund a better, smarter electricity grid and train workers to build it - a grid that will help
us ship wind and solar power from one end of this country to another. Think about it. The grid
that powers the tools of modern life - computers, appliances, even blackberries - looks largely the
same as it did half a century ago. Just these first steps toward modernizing the way we distribute electricity could reduce consumption by 2 to 4 percent.
President Barack Obama, "Remarks of President Barack Obama: Promoting the Recovery Plan with Secretary Chu", February 5, 2009
“To meet the energy challenge and create a 21st century energy economy, we need a 21st century
U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu, "Investing in Our Energy Future," September 2009
“And it turns out that demand response, local storage, and distributed generation are among the
best 'dance partners' to ensure we can reliably integrate renewable energy resources into the grid.”
Jon Wellinghoff, Chairman, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), "Remarks of FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff CAISO
“To get a greener grid, you need a Smart Grid. Solar and wind power are necessary and desirable
components of a cleaner energy future. To make the grid run cleaner, it will take a grid capable of
dealing with the variable nature of these renewable resources.”
U.S. Department of Energy, "The Smart Grid: An Introduction," 2008
“The Smart Grid empowers consumers to control their own carbon footprints.”
North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC), "Electric Industry Concerns on the Reliability Impacts of Climate Change
Initiatives," November 2008