Time for an upgrade? image - Images: The many faces of the smart grid - CNET News
The existing electricity grid in the U.S. works—for the most part. But activity to make the grid smarter with digital technologies (see this smart grid FAQ) has finally started to pick up steam. Although there may be varying definitions, the goal of the smart grid is to make electricity distribution more efficient and reliable. In practice, that means more information to help reduce consumption. With better systems to control the flow of electricity, the power grid as a whole can use more solar and wind power. Solar and wind are intermittent energy sources, but if utilities have better controls along the grid that allow them to store energy or switch sources quickly, they can rely on them more confidently.