chapter  14
28 Pages

Why a Green Energy Economy Requires a Smart Grid

ByMiriam Horn

In developing good policy to drive smart grid investments that support the new energy economy, the first step is to come to agreement on ultimate goals. In most parts of the world, key economic value will be the smart grid's role in maintaining reliability and power quality. The economic value of smart grid investments is already being felt in California and across the United States. California's commitment to lead on greenhouse gas reduction further raised the performance requirements for the electric grid. About 80 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions come from energy generation and use. In the United States alone, electricity generation and use is one of the biggest sources of pollution on the planet, accounting for more than one-fifth of the world's CO2 emissions. All of the certain commitments—to scale deployments of renewable, distributed resources and electric vehicles—led to recognition by Senator Alex Padilla and others that grid would need to be modernized to support that transformed system.