Last year I worked on the project team for the Illinois Smart Grid Initiative, in which we brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss the opportunities, benefits, and costs of different models of investing in smart grid infrastructure and technologies. We also discussed the important regulatory institutional changes that would be required to unleash all of these potential benefits and creating “good value for money” for consumers and investors.
The ISGI final report is now available. From the web site:
The ISGI Report outlines how a smart grid can fundamentally improve reliability and efficiency, integrate renewable energy on the local level, and empower consumers to take charge of and reduce their electricity bills–while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions.
The ISGI Report identifies several steps that can be taken right now to improve the electricity system for the benefit of all Illinois citizens. It encourages increasing consumer choice by pairing real-time electricity rates with smart technology, and urges regulatory rule changes that encourage public and private investment in energy efficient smart grids. Finally, investing in the smart grid can open the door to new ‘green power’, high-tech business opportunities in communities throughout the state.
Currently, Illinois is the national leader in offering residential customers real-time pricing options, and is among the leading states in mandating increased renewables and energy efficiency. Using the economic stimulus bill as one catalyst, the ISGI Report maps out how Illinois can transform the electric grid into a smart grid and set the standard for the nation in stimulating the economy and protecting the environment.
Here’s a direct link to the pdf of the report. While the discussion is specific to Illinois, we are leading the smart grid policy debates at the state level, along with a few other states, so I think in the spirit of the “laboratory of the states”, this report has a lot of valuable information for anyone interested in smart grid policy.