Smart Grid funding the perfect stimulus - 08 May 2009

Allocating funding to the development of smart electricity networks would create employment, improve productivity and manage greenhouse gas emissions, according to a leading industry association.

In a submission to the Commonwealth Government, Smart Grid Australia (SGA) has called for the implementation of a funding support program for smart grid demonstration projects.

"We believe smart grids can deliver enormous economic, environmental and social benefits to Australia", SGA's Chairman Charles Popple said.

"The introduction of smart grids would allow distributors to improve the operating efficiency and reliability of the electricity network, encourage customers to use energy more efficiently, and facilitate the integration of renewable energy into the network".

Under the SGA plan, a funding support program would be established that:

  • Provides a minimum $50 million for the establishment and operation of smart grid demonstration projects, to be matched 50:50 by electricity distributors
  • Funds projects that demonstrate the full range of smart grid components
  • Encourages electricity distributors to form partnerships and alliances with other industries to develop smart grid technologies and processes for the Australian market

"We call on the Government to follow the lead of the Obama administration and support the transformation of an industry", said Chairman Charles Popple.

"The time is now right to allocate funding to smart grid programs in a co-ordinated way ahead, providing industry with the ability to plan and implement demonstration projects that create jobs, improve productivity across the industry and deliver solid environmental outcomes."

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