Smart grid electrifies K Street


“Smart grid” is a moniker for a better-performing electricity grid. Leveraging software and other new technologies, a smart grid would reduce the energy lost during the transmission of electricity and make it easier for consumers not to be such energy hogs.

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Though it sounds techie, a smart grid has captured the attention of another group besides the companies directly involved in the power industry: lobbyists. At least 95 companies, K Street firms, local governments and nonprofit groups have notified Congress of their intention to lobby on the smart-grid issue since President Barack Obama’s inauguration.

Why? Money. The administration made the development of the green economy central to its economic recovery package. The $787 billion stimulus included $4.5 billion to the Energy Department for smart grid efforts, and another $16 billion for other energy-efficiency and renewable efforts.

GridWeek lasts until Thursday, when Commerce Secretary Gary Locke is to give closing remarks. Energy Secretary Steven Chu opened the conference by announcing new DoE smart-grid grants.

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