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Special Report

What Is the Smart Grid?

Updating the aging electricity grid may save money, energy and greenhouse gas emissions

Securing the Smart Grid

The grid's flow of data is supposed to improve energy delivery but must be protected from hackers' prying eyes

May 13, 2010 — Sandra A. Swanson

The Future of Nuclear Power

The U.S.--and the world--is gearing up to build a potentially massive fleet of new nuclear reactors, in part to fight climate change. But can nuclear power handle the load?

January 26, 2009

Who will manage the smart energy grid when it finally arrives?

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.

March 24, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

Want to lower your electric bill? Google wants to help

If you're still clutching your chest over that last sky-high electric bill and wondering how to keep it down next month, you'll be heartened to hear that help may be on the way from the company behind the world's largest search engine.

February 11, 2009 — Larry Greenemeier

World's largest machine--the electric grid--is old and outdated

The U.S. electric grid is so old and outdated it can't handle the influx of wind power and other intermittent renewable resources. Integrating such sources requires adapting a system that is finely tuned to balance the amount of electricity being used with the amount of electricity being generated with fickle winds.

August 28, 2008 — David Biello

Preventing Blackouts

A smarter power grid that automatically responds to problems could reduce the rising number of debilitating blackouts

May 1, 2007 — Massoud Amin and Phillip F. Schewe