Earlier today, President Barack Obama made a pitch for renewable energy, announcing $3.4 billion in government support for projects aimed at modernizing the country’s power grid. After touring a field of solar energy panels, the president gave a speech on the importance of several technologies that could potentially make America’s power transmission system more efficient and better suited to the digital age.
The projects include automating utility substations, installing “smart” electric meters in homes, and installing thousands of new digital transformers and grid sensors. According to Obama, modernization would lead to a “smarter, stronger and more secure electric grid.” In addition, a modern grid could give consumers better control over their electricity usage and costs, and spur development of renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
“We have a very antiquated (electric grid) system in our country,” Carol Browner, assistant to the president for energy and climate change, told reporters. “The current system is outdated, it’s dilapidated.” The $3.4 billion in grants from the government’s January economic stimulus program will be matched by $4.7 billion in private investments. The money will be distributed over the next two months and the work is expected to be done over the next one to three years. “There’s something big happening in America in terms of creating a clean-energy economy,” Obama said. What do you think?