Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Energy Bill Opens The Gates of The Future

If you have not been paying attention, our President and Congress have passed an Energy Bill that includes the first federal building blocks for America to deploy a nationwide smart grid.

And you might ask me again, what is a smart grid?

Well, a smart grid is the seamless integration of a power grid, a telecommunications network covering its service area, plus the necessary hardware and software to monitor, control and manage the creation, transmission, distribution, wholesale, and retail of energy for industrial, commercial and residential customers.

Here are the highlights for the electric industry from the new energy bill

Title XIII Smart Grid; Sections 1301 -1309:

Establishes a statement of policy supporting modernization of the grid; authorizes a biennial status report and survey of barriers to modernization;

Establishes a public/private advisory committee to work with the Secretary of Energy on modernizing the grid and a federal employee task force to coordinate federal grid modernization activities and regulation;

Authorizes research, development demonstration in areas including smart meters, distributed generation, energy storage and demand management and interconnection to access to energy stored in vehicles; authorizes $100 million for 5 regional demonstrations of advanced technologies for grid modernization, for 2008-2012;.

Directs NIST to develop protocols and standards to achieve interoperability of smart grid devices and systems; authorizes $5 million/year for 2008-2012;

Establishes a federal matching fund for 20% of qualifying smart grid investments;

Amends PURPA to require state consideration of smart grid investments prior to making non-smart grid investments;

Authorizes a study of the laws and regulations impacting siting of private distribution wires; and Authorizes a study of the quantitative benefits of smart grid deployment on electricity infrastructure and operating capability.

And of course the new energy bill will bring more fuel-efficient vehicles into auto showrooms and require wider use of ethanol.
During a signing ceremony at the U.S. Energy Department Wednesday, President Bush called the legislation "a major step" toward energy independence and an easing of global warming. The new law also obliges automakers to increase fuel efficiency by 40 per cent to an industry average of 35 miles a U.S. gallon, or 6.7 litres per 100 kilometres, by 2020. It also ramps up production of ethanol use to 136 billion litres a year by 2022. President Bush said the new requirements will help address U.S. dependency on foreign oil by reducing demand for gasoline and diversifying the nation's fuel supply.

The energy industry is entering the most fantastic renaissance period of any industry ever. The transformation, job and wealth creation from the next 25 years in the energy industry will dwarf any prior technology revolution recorded.

Hold on to your seats. Enjoy the ride!!!

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