GridWise Alliance Lauds Smart Grid Provisions in US Clean Energy Bill - 01 Jul 2009

Our sister organisation the GridWise Alliance praised the House of Representatives for passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, the Waxman-Markey bill, which includes several key smart grid provisions.

"This bill provides both direct and organic incentives for smart grid deployment," said Katherine Hamilton, President of the GridWise Alliance. "Smart grid technologies will be key enablers in developing renewable energy resources and energy efficiency, both of which are critical to climate change mitigation."

The bill contains several important provisions that directly impact smart grid deployment:

  • Reduction in distribution line losses can be included in the calculation of energy efficiency, incentivizing the deployment of smart grid technologies as a means to optimize the grid and make it more efficient.
  • Electric vehicle infrastructure provisions include smart grid integration by utilities to foster deployment of electric cars.
  • Peak demand reduction goals encourage the use of smart grid technologies to help utilities reduce their peak demand. The GridWise Alliance asserts that for this to be successful, state public utility commissions will need to couple this provision with rates that encourage off-peak use, sending price signals to encourage consumer to use less electricity on peak.
  • Smart grid product cost-effectiveness, energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction will be calculated by the EPA in a move to begin including smart appliances as part of the successful Energy Star program. Products with smart grid features will also be included in the appliance rebate program.
  • Energy efficiency public information programs will now include smart grid information. Clean Energy Innovation Centers and the
  • Clean Energy Investment Fund allows for smart grid technologies to be considered as one of the qualifying clean energy categories.
  • A renewable energy standard and cap and trade mechanism will spur the deployment of smart grid technologies that enable more effective use of energy efficiency and renewable energy resources.

"In the end, we hope that the bill that lands on the President's desk will recognize that the integration of smart grid technologies is key to achieving our energy and climate goals," stated Hamilton.

The GridWise Alliance will continue to work with the Senate on smart grid provisions before Senator Bingaman takes his bill to the floor, likely in September or October.

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