Foreign Policy Blogs

The Smart Grid is Coming to Town

I’ve got an article in the latest issue of “Planning,” the magazine of the American Planning Association, on the smart grid. (If you don’t know the important work of the APA, you should definitely see what they’re about and the critical work that planners do, creating and recreating communities.)

We look at how we generate electricity at the blog quite a lot. In researching Current Concerns, I came to much more fully appreciate that changing the way that we transmit and distribute electricity is going to enormously influence how we get our GHGs down. I also realized, in talking to some of the pathbreaking people I interviewed for the article, that the smart grid is going to be upon us in the developed world sooner rather than later. (Definitely check out the links in the article. DOE, the utility industry and those pioneers working on community energy sustainability have got a lot to say and to show. Also, please note, the graphics in the article are used with the express permission of Xcel Energy.)

My old buddy, Al, the marine engineer and carbon market player, recently flagged a good piece on the subject at the “NY Times” blog “Green Inc.” The FT’s Fiona Harvey had one of her usual informative articles here on the smart grid back in October. IBM, who I pointed out in my article is very much in the business of the smart grid, has some compelling things to say at their webpage on all this. (Click the “Energy” icon at the bottom of the page there.) I’ve written about the smart grid concept before at the blog at Green Building, Smart Grids and Renewables, among other places.

Congress in the 2007 energy bill (see Title XIII) and President-Elect Obama have voiced their explicit intention of upgrading the energy grids in this country. They’re getting smart too!

Finally, check out this succinct video from IBM.


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Bill Hewitt
Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change


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