Integrating distributed resources into the smart grid.
Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was named one of the Time Magazine’s “Heroes of the Planet” and is the author of New York Times best-seller Crimes Against Nature (2004). He is a member of the board of directors of UISOL, a leading smart grid technology and service provider.
The remedy for America’s gravest economic woes may lie in a smart grid that can deliver vast amounts of clean, renewable energy while enhancing our energy security and democratizing our energy system. Although regulatory questions and technical challenges might dominate the industry’s short-term focus, the smart grid’s driving forces parallel America’s long-term national interests—a fact that should guide ongoing technology strategies and investment decisions.
Smart grid technology allows energy consumers to actively participate in energy markets by deploying homemade distributed power (such as wind and solar) into the American marketplace and by exercising demand response options to control their own energy costs—for example, by scheduling dishwasher and laundry activities during off-peak hours. A fully integrated smart grid will foster the emergence of regional markets for distributed resources that can transform every American into an energy entrepreneur and every home into a power plant.