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The effort to revamp the nation’s electric grid clearly has friends in high places. Who are they? What are their roles? Who are the people to watch at both the state and federal level? When it comes to setting Smart Grid policy, regulating projects, and doling out dollars, it’s important to know who makes the decisions. Learn more about them in this section.

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Demand response backlash? Court deals blow to FERC and other DR friends

smart grid, modern grid, smart grid technology, demand response, policy and regulation, FERC
Demand response supporters were badly shaken by a recent court decision. A FERC rule requiring that power users who cut demand were to be paid the same as providers who increased supply was struck down by a U.S. appeals court. Click to learn more about the decision and read some of the reactions.

GE's most important contribution to the smart grid yet (and it's not technology)

Smart grid, policy and regulation, strategy, GE, electric utilities
GE has released a report outlining real nuts and bolts recommendations for improving the current regulatory model. It’s good to see the global giant throwing its weight behind a performance-based model so many have been advocating for so long.

More FERC uproar: Nominee for chairman stirs controversy

Smart grid, FERC, FERC nominee Ron Binz, policy and regulation
While FERC isn’t usually thought of as a top controversy magnet, the heat surrounding the nomination of Ron Binz to succeed Chairman Jon Wellinghoff is building to an unexpected level. The nomination of the former Colorado PUC Chairman has generated plenty of commentary, from praise to charges that Binz is a “radical.”

Why you should ignore the coming EPA battle (but watch for the next one)

Smart grid, policy and regulation, EPA emissions requirements, electric utilities
EPA is expected to release its regulations limiting emissions from new power plants any time now. There will be an uproar. But the agency’s follow up step, establishing guidelines for existing power plants, could be a hard hit for utilities relying heavily on coal-fired generation. That’s the one to worry about (and prepare for).

Best practices in smart grid policy

Smart grid, smart grid policy, smart grid strategy
Most of the smart grid conversation seems to be about technology, but policy is a tougher proposition and doesn’t get anywhere near that level of interest. Maybe the release of a new smart grid policy handbook will help re-focus some of that attention.

Why the next wave of smart grid is doomed to fail

Smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid trends, markets and pricing, smart grid predictions
While the smart grid has come a long way in the past decade, many are saying it hasn’t progressed far enough to make a big difference. So what’s the hangup? Read one version of the answer inside.

New FERC chairman may favor renewables and smart grid, but hurt coal

Smart grid, policy and regulation, FERC, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Ronald Binz
FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff, who is stepping down when a successor is confirmed, has been a good friend to the smart grid. Fortunately, it looks like the man nominated by President Obama to succeed him could be a good friend, too.

Obama wants to elevate linemen to first responder status

Smart grid, smart grid strategy, electric utilities, outage repair, utility workers
President Obama restated his interest in designating utility workers first responders while he met with a utility executive group to go over restoration planning after major storms. Not only is it a useful and practical solution for speeding up response to outages, it also represents an opportunity for the industry to make its case for the money needed for grid modernization because of the widespread interest in restoration issues.

Texas to double wind capacity with $6.8B transmission investment

Smart grid, smart grid technology, smart grid renewable energy, wind power, solar power, policy and regulation, markets and pricing
Texas - already the country's leader in installed wind capacity - is sinking $6.8 billion into new transmission lines to deliver power from the wind-rich west to major cities. That boost is luring wind developers, but there could be a hitch.

Get ready! FERC spotlights 3 major challenges for utilities

Smart grid, smart grid strategy, electric utility markets, distributed generation, energy efficiency, electric utilities
SGN's Jesse Berst was on Capitol Hill this week for a briefing by FERC Chairman Jon Wellinghoff. The Chairman shared what he sees as the three biggest issues facing our industry.

Distributed energy: A hedge against lights out for Great Britain?

Smart grid, global smart grid, policy and regulation, smart grid strategy, electricity generation
Ofgem, the British gas and electricity regulator, has warned that the country could see an energy shortage in as little as three years as a result of air pollution regulations. We're highlighting insights from strategic market research firm Memoori on that dire warning and the case for distributed energy as a solution.

FERC ramps it up on energy cyber security

Smart grid, smart grid security, cyber security, cyber attacks, strategy, electric utilities, electric infrastructure
FERC has set up a new office dedicated to potential cyber and physical security risks to the energy industry. The Office of Energy Infrastructure Security will provide leadership and help coordinate efforts to mitigate those security risks.

Smart grid vision alert! DOE wants to make course corrections

Smart grid, smart grid strategy, smart grid policy and regulation, DOE
DOE has released its long-term vision for the U.S. electric system in 2035, complete with recommended goals and the course corrections needed to get there. SGN Chief Analyst Jesse Berst thinks this is something you should care about and explains why.

Coalition's smart grid report card flawed, but mildly useful

Smart grid, smart grid deployment, smart grid benefits, GridWise Alliance
We don't think the new GridWise Alliance report on the current state of the country's electric grid and the benefits of smart grid went as far as it could have in assessing obstacles to smart grid deployment and addressing other issues, but it does provide a summary of useful information. Read more inside.

Smart grid on pace to hit $2 trillion cumulative investment, but pitfalls loom

Smart grid, smart grid investment forecasts, smart grid deployment, global business, smart grid markets
The total investment in smart grid is on track to hit $2 trillion by 2030, says a new research report. But that doesn't mean it's going to be a cakewalk to get there. SGN Chief Analyst Jesse Berst pulls some highlights from the report, which includes challenges to be expected along the way.

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