Mar 24, 2009 | 5
The new economic stimulus package set aside $11 billion in federal funding for creation of a so-called "smart grid." But it's not clear what this national electricity delivery system will look like, how it will function or who will manage the information required to make the grid intelligent. Local power utilities can install the smart meters in homes that provide data about energy usage and constitute an integral part of the overall smart grid, but it's the cable and telephone companies that have the broadband infrastructure to send this info back to the utilities.
Over the next three years, Progress Energy, a Raleigh, N.C., power company, and the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg plan to equip some 5,000 homes and businesses in west St. Petersburg and St. Pete Beach with special meters, sensors and switches to create one of the U.S.'s largest smart grids, according to Tampa Bay Online. If the $15 million experiment is a success, Progress plans to incorporate smart-grid technology over the next 10 years in its most populated service areas, including Orlando and areas of Pinellas County in addition to St. Petersburg.
Feb 25, 2009 | 8
Pres. Obama in a televised address to a joint session of Congress last night told lawmakers—and the nation—that his three top priorities are energy, health care and education. First and foremost on his list: seeking renewable power sources and reducing U.S. dependence on foreign oil.
"We have known for decades that our survival depends on finding new sources of energy. Yet we import more oil today than ever before," he said, harking back to a time when former Pres. Carter wore sweaters in the White House to promote conservation only to be followed by former Pres. Reagan, who had solar photovoltaic panels taken off the rooftop of the White House and eliminated most research and development funding into alternative energy sources.
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