Throughout his presidency, Barack Obama has continued to make the modernization of the nation’s energy grid a priority. Through “Smart Grid” technology, America’s increasingly digital society can manage its energy consumption efficiently, using clean, renewable energy sources to pave the way to greater energy independence.
Following Obama’s plan for a “new era” in the American Energy Industry last March, the National Science and Technology Council released A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: A Progress Report which summarizes the Administration’s achievements in making the nation’s grid stronger, smarter, and cleaner – leading the nation toward a clean energy future and advancing job growth, innovation, and consumer savings.
According to Patricia A. Hoffman, Assistant Secretary in the Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability, “We have been seeing progress for some time…thanks to the Recovery Act,” which provided $4.5 billion in funds to help increase the electric grid’s flexibility, reliability, efficiency, affordability, and resiliency.
The DOE’s Economic Impact of Recovery Act Investments in the Smart Grid report showed the DOE and industry investments of $2.96 billion generated at least $6.8 billion in total economic output. For every $1 million of direct spending, gross domestic product (GDP) expanded by at least $2.5 million. Those investments also supported at least 47,000 jobs across a wide range of industrial sector. According to the Huffington Post, Americans are experiencing fewer outages, more efficient operations, faster power restoration when disruptions occur, and cost savings.
Modernization of the grid is expected to continue, which will take time, additional investment, and will certainly continue to face challenges.”We can tackle these challenges and realize even more innovative and exciting opportunities for consumers and communities,” Ms. Hoffman said. “For the U.S. to continue prospering in an increasingly dynamic world filled with change, we must continue making significant investments in grid modernization.”
Progress on Our 21st Century Grid: Powering Our Country and Our Economy, energy.gov
A Policy Framework For the 21st Century Grid: Progress Report [PDF], whitehouse.gov
Keeping the Lights on for Americans: Modernizing the Nation’s Electric Grid, huffingtonpost.com
Learn more about the Smart Grid from the DOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery & Energy Reliability’s blog. This week, the DOE is hosting “#SmartGrid week” on their website, where they will be posting updates regarding the Smart Grid all week.