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Does the “Smart Grid” Have a Smartest-Guys-in-the-Room Problem?

By Ken Maize -- June 19, 2009

[Editor note: Ken Maize, a long-time energy analyst, joins MasterResource for the first time (see his bio at the end of this post). A MR previous post by Robert Michaels has questioned ‘smart metering,’ part of the ‘smart grid’ concept]

However politically incorrect my conclusion, I’m convinced that the “smart grid” is not smart and even dumb. It diverts attention from what is a more important objective–a strong grid. And it politicizes in the very area where we need more consumer-driven, free-market incentives.

Following the Northeast grid collapse of 2003, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) popped out the smart grid concept, largely the brainchild of then EPRI’s CEO Kurt Yeager. The blueprint was for an interconnected intelligent network reaching from the generating station to your toaster, able to talk up-and-down the line, matching supply and demand seamlessly.…