Progress towards a 21st century grid in U.S.


Washington, DC, U.S.A. — (METERING.COM) — March 5, 2013 – Full modernization of the United States electric grid will require sustained effort over years and decades and there is no “one-size-fits-all” technology solution to modernizing the grid – this is why the fiscal year 2013 budget maintains strategic investments in smart grid research and development (R&D), standards development, and cybersecurity that focus on finding diverse, cost effective solutions, according to the latest report from the National Science and Technology Council.

The administration will continue on this path forward while seeking new and innovative ways to work with states, the electric sector, and other stakeholders.

The report, A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: A Progress Report, is aimed to summarize recent federal government actions to deliver on the promise of a 21st century grid. It is also an update to the original Policy Framework released in June 2011, which set out the four guiding principles:

  1. Enabling cost effective smart grid investments
  2. Unlocking the potential of innovation in the electricity sector
  3. Empowering consumers and enabling informed decision making
  4. Securing the grid.

According to the report strategic investments through the Recovery Act continue to help to avoid and recover from blackouts, improve the efficiency of the grid, increase the intelligence of electric meters, add energy storage capacity, and train new workers. For example, more than 12.9 million smart meters have been installed under the Recovery Act, which will increase to 15.5 million smart meters by the end of 2014

Further, since 2011 more than $3.7 billion in loans have been provided to finance the expansion of smart grid infrastructure in the rural areas. Support has also been provided to Department of Defense installations, and for example the Navy is now deploying almost 27,000 advanced smart meters across 102 bases worldwide.

Other recent initiatives highlighted include the Energy Data initiative and Apps for Energy challenge, the Green Button initiative, and several activities to address the challenge of cybersecurity, including the development of a cybersecurity risk management guideline.

Smart grid technologies and programs represent an evolution in how the nation’s electricity system operates, states the report, which was prepared by the Subcommittee on Smart Grid of the National Science and Technology Council’s Committee on Technology. Going forward, the administration will continue to support grid modernization efforts that benefit all Americans by remaining committed to the four guiding principles (as above).