by Elisa Wood, via Renewable Energy World
We don’t think about energy until something goes wrong, and this week things went wrong on an historic level. As a result, the public and pundits are again focusing on the fragility of big electric grids.
Ten percent of the world’s population — more than 600 million people — lost their power in India on July 31, marking the largest blackout in history. India’s grid collapse follows the storm-related outages that left Washington, D.C. sweltering for days when a freak super derecho hit in June.
So the timing couldn’t be better to accelerate consumer education about smart grid, and the non-profit Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) is on the job.
Smart grid uses high tech devices to make the electric system more sophisticated and less likely to fail. It also opens the way for a future of decentralized power, where the home, car, and office building each become power plants in their own right.
But smart grid requires a degree of customer energy self-management, something foreign to most of us. So the energy industry has been working hard to figure out how to interest consumers in the various energy displays, time-of-use ...