Can power companies handle every car owner plugging in at the same time? Probably not, but new software will let the company figure out which cars need charging most so that everyone is powered up by morning.
We can all use less power, but it’s going to take some new behaviors. Design can be a powerful tool in nudging us to change how we act, and if we apply design solutions to using less power, it might be a little easier.
The technology for the smart grid exists, but no one is going to start using it while we still get electricity so easily. But that’s foolish: It’s time for the biggest buyers of electricity to lead the way.
Because of bad policies or just plain laziness, businesses spend a shocking amount of money powering their computers and lights in the middle of the night. Sounds like a quick way to shift the bottom line (and stop burning so much coal).
While Americans bicker about whether or not smart meters work (or give you cancer), Europe has plans to install more than 100 million in the next few years. Now we can see what a smart grid looks like.
Instead of focusing on a moon-shot funded by the federal government, a look at America's "energy innovation system" finds that a much more likely solution will come from marginal, local developments—and that's where we should be investing.