Today, the Obama Administration unveiled a new plan entitled, “A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: Enabling Our Secure Energy Future”. Its main objective is to require an upgrading of the existing electrical grid and the acceleration of the deployment of smart grid technologies across the US. A $250 million loan, funded by the Recovery Act, will support 141 current smart grid technology projects and promote their results. The goal is to encourage more states to adopt smart grid policies (25 states already have) and to streamline different approaches into a unified scheme that will lead the clean-energy economy by example.
The White House’s plan aims to achieve four main goals:
- enable innovation
- increase investment to modernize the grid and help cut utility bills
- give consumer more reliable information and greater control over their energy use
- secure the grid against cyber attacks
“Effective development and use of smart grids will drive unprecedented energy innovation across the country while keeping our energy supply efficient, protected and ready to meet growing demand” said Chris Hankin, director of environmental policy at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC). He went on to salute the White House’s effort to establish consumer-focused and cost effective energy policies, in an official press release.
The White House framework represents an important first step in laying the foundation for an eventual unified initiative that will include the private sector as well. Its intention is to capitalize on the shared objectives of both the public and private sectors to make energy use more efficient through the implementation of smart grid technologies.