In recent years, California has been at the epicenter of the struggle for abundant and affordable energy. Energy shortages and scandals have put a premium on California’s available energy and have exacerbated consumer anxiety. Even as our state and our nation pursue new opportunities in clean and renewable energy sources, energy conservation and management remain critical to ensuring California’s resources, cost of living, and security for generations to come.
In October 2009, California legislators passed SB 17, groundbreaking smart grid technology legislation aimed at developing a plan for future smart grid deployment statewide. Smart grid technology combines intelligent monitoring systems and upgraded superconductive transmission lines to provide inherent energy conservation, reduced costs, and optimized energy use during off-peak hours. Investing in smart grid technology will allow California to dramatically improve energy exchange statewide while passing along savings to financially benefit all Californians within a system that provides incentives for conservation in the home. Intelligent monitoring systems will allow energy demand to be diminished during peak hours which will help consumers as well as energy technicians avoid brownouts and blackouts. Furthermore, California legislators have projected that early adoption of smart grid technology will attract federal funding and spur job creation in-state.
In addition to saving energy and money, smart grid technology is designed to be ‘self-healing’ in incidences of disruptions, outages, and other system problems. Furthermore, smart grid technology will be more resistant to intentional attacks on our energy infrastructure. California’s investment in smart grid technology is an investment in state and national security as well disaster preparedness. California is already home to three of the top five most active utilities in smart grid development and is poised to remain the leader in development and utilization of smart grid technology. While California has recently suffered from unique energy problems, the state’s unparalleled technology industry will be instrumental in providing solutions to meet consumer demand and improve energy availability and security for years to come. CALinnovates supports efforts to deploy smart grid technologies statewide.