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Smart Grid: Pay More for Less Power   April 21st, 2009
Is that really smart?       


More observations...

It would seem that a "smart grid" means paying more money for less power. Why is it that ideas that liberals promote tend to go against normal market forces?

The only way utility companies will move toward a "smart grid" model is if they are allowed to charge more money to deliver less power...

Creating a smart grid involves digitizing it with an array of electronic sensors on everything from home meters and appliances to utility substations. Think of it like your cell phone bill, but instead of seeing who you called, when you called them and for how long you spoke, you'd see which devices used how much energy at what time of day...

In this case, if the objective is to use less power, paying more for less may indeed be a good thing.

A quick check at Wikipedia regarding "smart grid" states:

Supporters of renewable energy favor it, because most renewable energy sources - to date - are intermittent in nature, depending on natural phenomena (the sun and the wind) to generate power. Thus, any type of power infrastructure using a significant portion of intermittent renewable energy resources must have means of effectively reducing electrical demand by shedding loads in the event that the natural phenomena necessary to generate power do not occur. By increasing electricity prices when the desired natural phenomena are not present, consumers will, in theory, be encouraged to decrease consumption, and enable wider use of renewable energy resources.

So why don't we call it what it is? Rationing.

As conservatives have said, alternative energy isn't ready for prime time and can't yet meet our power needs. The liberal solution, apparently, is to effectively ration energy by making it so expensive that we use sufficiently less so that the limited alternative energy will be adequate.

It should also be noted that if we'd "see which devices used how much energy at what time of day" on our electric bill, so would the electric company... and, perhaps, the government? And with the mindset of people these days, if your electric bill shows you consuming a large amount of power that can't be attributed to your TV and washing machine usage, would that invite further scrutiny by the government? Talk about an invasion of privacy!

And in order to have the privilege of paying more for our energy and having a grid that can effectively spy on us, we will all be paying for this "smart" electric grid through our tax dollars and higher electric bills. And that doesn't even count any potential increased costs due to Obama's cap and trade plan... which, luckily, so far seems to be running into resistance in Congress.

I'm not sure that this seems all that "smart" to me.

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