Natural gas: Important role for our energy future
Bob Catell is Chairman, New York State Smart Grid Consortium; Former Chairman of National Grid, U.S. and Deputy Chairman of National Grid plc.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: What's your perspective on the grid's transformation.
Bob Catell: I always start with the fact that we've been very fortunate in this country to have an energy delivery system of gas and electric that has worked for many years. It has provided perhaps the best level of reliability of any country in the world.
Through that, we have been able to have a great quality of life in this country. We have a lot to be thankful for, and a proud history to look back on.
But you've got to look forward. You've got to look to the future. The challenge now is to make the energy delivery grid more efficient so we can deliver energy to the consumer at the most efficient reasonable cost, without sacrificing reliability.
We also need to reduce our carbon footprint by incorporating more renewables into the system. Further, we need to be going to more distributed generation so the customer has more control over their energy supply and can do it in a more efficient manner. But all of that adds a great deal of complexity to the energy delivery system.
When I talk about the energy delivery system, I mean both gas and electricity because I think they're very closely connected.
PUF's Steve Mitnick: How's the transformation going so far?
Bob Catell: I believe the transformation is going reasonably well. We're seeing the development of new technologies to improve the efficiency of the grid.