Innovation

It takes more than brains to switch to smart grids


smart power gridEverywhere I look these days, I see green — and I don't mean leaves on the trees and grass on freshly mowed lawns. The call is out, and it's incredibly loud. We have to do things differently than we're used to and comfortable with if we want to save the environment from further damage. Unfortunately, a lot of environmentally-friendly solutions come with a monetary cost, as well — just take a walk through a health food store and compare the organic prices to what you're used to paying at your local grocery mart. How does this apply to tech? Take a look at this article from CNET Networks' News.com: "Will anyone pay for the 'smart' power grid?"

Here's the lowdown:

What's new:

Experts agree that the aging United States power grid needs substantial upgrades, which would allow utilities and consumers to better monitor and control power consumption.

Bottom line:

Although there is general agreement on the smart-grid vision, panelists at energy conference said utilities and regulators are resistant to investing in new technologies.

According to Eric Dresselhuys, the vice president of Silver Spring Networks, "It's all about money. We tend to take a very short view, but if we would charge each customer less than two dollars per month, we could do everything we're talking about with smart grids." Would you be willing to pay more money each month for smart grids? If not, what do you propose as an alternate solution? Join the discussion.

To learn more about smart grids, check out the Smart Grid News Web site.

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About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the several blogs.

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