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Monday, July 29, 2013

A look at an intelligent (well, at least a not-so-dumb) power grid

Demand response - a program in which companies are paid in advance if they agree to lower electricity usage when demand soars - is a pretty simple step toward creating a power grid which is more than just a dumb pipe that spews as much electricity as possible at all times, no matter the consequences.

It cut peak use by sione 200 megawatts of power - more power, as I note in my Telegraph column today, than all the wind farms in New Hampshire spinning their hardest all at once - during the recent heatwave. Even better, various long-term efficiency moves have cut demand by a whopping 1,000 megawatts or so, the grid reports.

Being intelligent is good. I'd love smart meters so I could be more intelligent in my home electricity usage.

But it's only a small step.