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White House To Announce IT-Powered Smart Grid

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the future-power dept.

Power 320

FizzaNawaz writes "On Monday, the Obama administration is preparing announce the next steps that the US will take to build its 21st century electric grid, and IT is expected to play a big part in the plans. The White House is hosting a 90-minute media event called 'Building the 21st Century Electric Grid' and is releasing a new report on what it will take for lawmakers and the private sector to come together to solve this aspect of the energy challenge."

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Sigh (-1, Troll)

argoff (142580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421102)

Is there anything the government can't keep it's paws out of?

Re:Sigh (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421116)

Is there anything the government can't keep it's paws out of?

Gundam?

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421246)

I say if the governments just gonna keep printing money, might as well build something cool before they've destroyed the dollar.

Re:Sigh (2)

arse maker (1058608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421138)

Private companies are going to pay for multi billion dollar infrastructure without anti competitive exclusive usage of it?

What is the point you are trying to make?

Re:Sigh (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421150)

If you have to ask, you don't get it.

Re:Sigh (1)

arse maker (1058608) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421156)

Clearly.

Re:Sigh (4, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421348)

If you have to ask, you don't get it.

Congratulations, you have successfully demonstrated that you understand what a "question" is.

Re:Sigh (2)

perstephone (1705194) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421372)

So is this an admission you don't know what you're going on about either?

Re:Sigh (5, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421152)

Yeah, God forbid our country actually do something with its wealth. We should all just sit around on our asses, living off the work of our grandfathers, while complaining that nothing ever gets done.

We decided to leave high-speed internet deployment to the private sector. How's that working out? Oh, look, $50 a month for speeds that would make Europeans laugh, and the ISPs are already looking into bandwidth caps on top because they don't want to bear the expense of laying more fiber.

Re:Sigh (-1, Flamebait)

argoff (142580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421198)

You make my point. Peoples faith in the ability of government to solve problems, and their ignorance of the ones it causes, is astounding. Why don't you cross out the words "our country" up there, and put in the words "the catholic church". At least then, you are intellectually honest about the faith and ignorance.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421304)

So your point is to do nothing... got yah.

Just a side note.... its a rant if you just complain... its an opinion when you lay out the facts... and its a wise man who offers a solution.

Re:Sigh (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421708)

ts a wise man who offers a solution.

C2H5OH in H2O is the solution.

What was the problem again?

Re:Sigh (1)

toastar (573882) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421794)

ts a wise man who offers a solution.

C2H5OH in H2O is the solution.

What was the problem again?

Hea don't leave out the H6C12O6 and CH3CH2CH2COOCH2CH3

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421206)

We've not had wealth since the Clinton administration. Now we have debt. That being said, infrastructure is something worth borrowing money to improve. Doing so will lower long term costs and create jobs.

Re:Sigh (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421260)

We've not had wealth since the Clinton administration.

I think you mean "...since the Roosevelt [history.com] administration".

...or maybe you meant "...since the Wilson [wikipedia.org] administration".

Re:Sigh (2)

jhoegl (638955) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421312)

No no... the Clinton era was actually reducing our debt.

Re:Sigh (-1, Troll)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421546)

No no... the Clinton era was actually reducing our debt.

Sure--unfortunately when you make huge defense cuts, you have consequences [goo.gl] . So thanks Clinton for reducing our debt...

Re:Sigh (1)

besalope (1186101) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421686)

And when we had higher defense spending before Clinton during the Cold War we created, trained, and funded Al Qaeda. So by the same logic if we have higher military spending we are just shooting ourselves in the foot further down the road.

Re:Sigh (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421716)

And when we had higher defense spending before Clinton during the Cold War we created, trained, and funded Al Qaeda. So by the same logic if we have higher military spending we are just shooting ourselves in the foot further down the road.

More accurately, if the military/intelligence is spending money on things that don't pertain to defense of the homeland, we are shooting ourselves in the foot further down the road...

Re:Sigh (5, Informative)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421634)

Andrew Jackson is the only President to pay off the national debt. Presindent Clinton, with the "help" of the Republicans in Congress was able to restrain spending and get government spending in-line with revenues, leading to a token annual surplus his last year in office, with PROJECTED surpluses if nothing changed from the year 2000 to 2010... Unfortunately, things changed since Clinton left office.

Clinton reduced the annual deficit, yet did not reduce the national debt while he was in office He took office with $4.6T in debt and left office leaving about $5.6T in debt. [source] [wikipedia.org]

Debt is what we accumulate, year after year. Deficit is the new debt we rack-up each year, that gets added to the debt. Debt Deficit

Re:Sigh (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421680)

No no... the Clinton era was actually reducing our debt.

That would, no doubt, explain why the national debt increased every year of the Clinton presidency?

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421314)

We have plenty of wealth. This idea that we're broke is a right-wing lie to excuse robbing the poor and giving to the rich. If we repeal the Bush tax cuts and cut our military down to a reasonable size (say... not bigger than every other county in the world put together), we'll be back in the black in no time. Instead, we get demands to end Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security and Food Stamps, and use that money to give a record-breakingly large tax cut to the top 2%.

Re:Sigh (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421412)

thank you, Keith Olbermann

Re:Sigh (1, Interesting)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421492)

Thank you, one dimensional Republican.

Re:Sigh (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421734)

one dimensional Republican

So you're saying he has (or is) a point?

Re:Sigh (1)

colinrichardday (768814) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421780)

A point is zero dimensional

Re:Sigh (0)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421504)

You do realize that right now there are two choices for the future of Medicare and Medicaid on the table. There is the Paul Ryan (Republican) plan. This plan will distribute the money to states as block grants allowing those who will not enter the program for another ten years to choose which of several competing options to use the money for, while leaving it completely unchanged for those older than that. Then there is the Obama (Democratic) plan. The latter plan will set up a government agency that will decide what types of treatment will be covered so that Medicare and Medicaid expenses do not exceed a specified percentage of GDP (I forget the number, but Medicare and Medicaid will exceed it under the current configuration by 2014). This agency can only be overridden by 2/3s of both Houses of Congress.
So, neither party is calling for the end of Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security. However, the Democratic plan calls for the more drastic curtailment of benefits to those who are beyond the point of being able to (without great difficulty) develop alternate plans for their retirement.

Re:Sigh (2, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421598)

The Ryan plan eliminates Medicare as we know it. Yes, some older people will be grandfathered in. And yes, it replaces it with a new system with the same name. But those don't change the fact that the system we know as Medicare would end under his proposal.

Furthermore, the official estimates are that his plan would only cover a small portion of health care costs, which means most seniors would be simply unable to afford care, which means they bankrupt their children and die miserable with guilt (or hide their illnesses and die in pain). And the figures Ryan uses to create his estimates are laughably optimistic, calling for the US to enter a sustained period of growth the likes of which the world hasn't seen since the Industrial Revolution.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421614)

citations needed.

Re:Sigh (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421672)

Wow, you managed to claim the republican plan wasn't a naked attempt to destroy Medicare. You can replace Medicare with a $15K voucher that won't cover half the cost of medical insurance for most seniors and call *that* Medicare, just as you can replace a cop with a pizza and call it a policeman, but it really isn't.
 
Instead of rationally determining how to distribute a finite resource, as do most of the western democracies, you want to put the decisions about rationing health care in the hands of rapacious for-profit companies. I attended managers' meetings with the most senior managers at WellPoint insurance, and I can tell you, those people are scum-sucking monsters.
 
You really don't understand what you're saying, or you're just a terrible person.

Re:Sigh (5, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421552)

I couldn't find one provable assertion in that entire post - the gov't collects about $2.6T/year and spends about $4.3T/year, a $1.7T deficit each year (excluding the exceptional TARP, Stimulus, and other one-off spending events). The Bush Tax Cuts "cost" $470BN/year ($400BN/year for the "middle-class tax cuts" everyone was so keen on maintaining, and $70BN/year for the top 1-2% that we simply couldn't afford), and last year our entire military expenditures came to about $660BN/year [wikipedia.org] , for all operations, including our "overseas contingency exercises" - that leaves you about $500BN/year short of being "in the black"...

Medicare [cms.gov] & Social Security [cbo.gov] will implode in a few years, something needs to be done - your acceptance of the lie that Republicans want to "end" medicare is exactly why the Democrats have taken their "Thelma & Lousie" approach to simply over-promise benefits and gun it for the cliff...

MSNBC will be glad to know you're reflexively parroting their talking points without question.

Re:Sigh (0)

besalope (1186101) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421678)

Except if you looked at your pay stub or W-4 you would see that Medicare and Social Security were provisioned separately from the other Federal Taxes. The programs were also fairly self-sustaining until the politicians started to bleed them dry of extra funds to waste on more spending.

Re:Sigh (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421658)

why repeal any tax cuts. instead lets cut taxes in half and reduce the federal government by a factor of ten to an impotent shadow of its former self. 90% of what is does is unnecessary.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421292)

If by private sector you mean government enforced duopoly then I guess I agree with you. I have absolutely no faith that the government won't use this to push their agenda. I can see it now someone is in their basement playing wow at 4am and some government peon cuts their power because its not healthy to be up that late. The court rules that its constitutional because that persone was on government health care.

Re:Sigh (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421308)

Yeah, God forbid our country actually do something with its wealth. We should all just sit around on our asses, living off the work of our grandfathers, while complaining that nothing ever gets done.

I'm on it!

Private sector? (2)

Nielsio (2260202) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421580)

We decided to leave high-speed internet deployment to the private sector. How's that working out? Oh, look, $50 a month for speeds that would make Europeans laugh, and the ISPs are already looking into bandwidth caps on top because they don't want to bear the expense of laying more fiber.

The government handing out monopolies is not 'the private sector'. It's actually those companies becoming part of the government. If prices are high and profits are high then you should wonder why competition isn't rushing in to take a cut of the profits. It's because they aren't allowed to.

Re:Sigh (1)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421188)

And what is the private sector doing to update the antiquated power grid?

Re:Sigh (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421226)

So what are you saying? that the private sector doesn't think it's worth it, and so we need to ream the tax payers for it, or are you saying that the private sector isn't as forward seeing as the government sector? Uh huh.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

S.O.B. (136083) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421370)

Infrastructure investments like this are long term. The private sector has trouble thinking past the next quarterly report. The OP might not have meant that the private sector isn't as forward seeing as the government but I'll say it.

Time and time again the private sector has shown that they will only do the bare minimum required to wring every dollar out of the general public with the least amount of effort and if it requires lying through their teeth then so be it.

Need an example? How about the global economic crisis we're currently digging ourselves out of. By the way, the scum sucking leaches in the private sector that caused this meltdown seem to be the first ones that recovered. Funny that? Personally I think these parasites should be buried under so much regulation and bureaucracy that they'd never see the light of day.

So yeah, the private sector can't be trusted to do the right thing unless it's at the end of a very big government stick.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421428)

The private sector didn't decide to give out risky sub-prime mortgages. Your beloved feds made them do it, with a wink & a nod that if things went to shit, Uncle Sucker would bail them out.

Re:Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421518)

No they didn't. The Fed fucked up, but the private bankers were rolling in dough because of it. The Fed told bankers to lend to poor folk and that the Fed would buy that debt off the banks books allowing them to loan again. What happened? Well, the bankers decided they didn't need to care about getting money back since the Fed took the loan off their hands so they just made tons of money with fees. "Liar loans" were a product of the bankers not the Fed. Fannie and Freddy don't lend money they simply pay banks that lent money to a certain segment of population.

Stupid? Very, but the bankers were abusing the system. It was sort of a lending cost plus contract. This was a very popular business model in the 90s (Thanks Clinton!). One of the big name bed makers, don't remember who exactly at this time, basically passed from one hedge fund to the next. Each company would simply take loans on the potential worth of the company, take millions in fees, then sell the company for what they could. Wash, rinse, repeat. The Fed made big mistakes but the private industry raped the people for as much as they could.

Re:Sigh (0)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421528)

Just because fox News told you that doesn't make it true.

Re:Sigh (1)

kenh (9056) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421684)

How much of the power grid is in the hands of private power comapnies - state-regulated monopolies that have to get state approval for any expenditure, investment or rate increase aren't really "private sector" companies...

If your state was worried about implementing a "smart grid" they could simply require thier utility to do it, but they'd have to allow the utility to increase rates to pay for the investment, and oddly, most (but not all [youtube.com] )politicians are against the idea of raising electricity rates...

Re:Sigh (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421218)

It's infrastructure, dunce. This is what government should be doing.

Re:Sigh (1)

pasv (755179) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421278)

I'm just hoping they dont get their paws into our encryption keys by exploiting power fluctuation attacks. (http://www.darknet.org.uk/2010/03/boffins-crack-openssl-library-using-power-fluctuations/) Does any knowledgeable nerd know if that is feasible? I'm a pessimist and I assume everything the government does benefits us (or them) in more than one way. Is the smart grid the biggest backdoor to come yet?

Re:Sigh (2)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421472)

You're on an internet that was invented with government money. Get off now.

Re:Sigh (4, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421478)

You're right - we should leave networking the grid into efficiency among its many monopolies all to Enron. A private corp will do it right. And quickly, too - none of this waiting around for the government to get around to taking the risks no one else has. Enron will never abuse the market it hosts. It will spend its profits reinvesting in innovation and efficiencies. Keep your government paws off my Enron!

Re:Sigh (1)

devphaeton (695736) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421578)

Is there anything the government can't keep it's paws out of?

"it's" as in "it is" or "its"?

Prophecy comes true (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421108)

Ofcourse after all those years of spreading fud about internet connected powergrid - it's about time they build it.

Yea (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421120)

More shovel ready jobs from Odouchebag.

Keep licking the commi's balls. I'm moving on.

Re:Yea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421174)

I'm moving on.

Good riddance.

Re:Yea (4, Insightful)

neokushan (932374) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421234)

Right, I have to ask this as a (more than likely) ignorant European who probably just doesn't "get" it - but what's with the obsession with "commies"? Who exactly are you referring to? I know that "Back in the day" of the cold war when Russia was seen as the big mortal enemy of the US, most people referred to them simply as the commies, or "communist Russia", but it has been like 2 decades since the USSR fell, who's left? Is it China? Is that who the "commies" are? If so, what has China got to do with the Obama administration?
I genuinely do not know - why are Americans obsessed with communism? Why is it that, for example, a national health service is a bit "communist"? And why does that inherently make it bad? I'm not saying +1 for communism, more along the lines of "Even if it is a tad communist, how can free health care for all actually be a bad thing?". In the same way that Hitler was supposedly a vegetarian (I know he actually wasn't and it's just a myth, but anyway), why does that mean that being a vegetarian is a bad thing? Charles Darwin was supposedly a womanising prick, but that doesn't mean his theory on Natural Selection is any less valid. Not that I think that a free health service IS communist or anything, but I digress.

Anyway, the sum total of what I'm asking is basically -
* Who are the "commies"?
* Why do people care about the "commies"?
* Are people afraid of the "commies" for some reason? Are they thinking that if a new electric grid is built, suddenly Russia will revert back to the USSR or something?
* Is Slashdot communist?

Re:Yea (2)

RedACE7500 (904963) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421364)

Disclaimer: I'm Canadian.

On the left side of the political spectrum you have socialists. If you go even further left you have communists. It isn't necessarily that there are "commies", but using the term is a way of deriding certain ways of doing things. Having the government use tax dollars (or in the US case, borrowed dollars) to improve the power grid something might be seen as the left-wing way of doing so; whereas providing tax incentives to private corporations to do the work might be an example of a right-wing way of acheiving the same goal. While the Obama admistration aren't "commies" by most people's definitions, they could easily be classified as socialists.

What I'd like to know is how the US government plans to pay for new programs like this? Their economy is slowly imploding and they're being crushed by unprecidented debt, yet they're worried about building an IT-Powered Smart Grid??

Re:Yea (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421420)

What I'd like to know is how the US government plans to pay for new programs like this?

Well that's obvious. They're going to bankrupt power producers like coal via cap and trade, with this institute high taxation on all non "green" power generation. Ensure that the US goes to a 3rd world country and therefore no one will have any need to worry about power. And oh charge a premium on green power generation, somewhere in the 40-80c/KWH.

The other option is to take out an assload of debt, and at the same time turn in the printing presses again, hyperdevaluate the currency.

In otherwords, he's a communist in socialist clothing. It's the only way that the government can pay for it.

Re:Yea (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421538)

Or, as someone posted earlier, you could cut the military spending down to some reasonable multiple of the rest of the world, phase out the Bush tax cuts and work to keep the entitlements down to a dull roar. It certainly can be done, we just have to have the political will to simultaneously reign in both the Military Industrial Complex and Big Banking.

We're doomed.

Re:Yea (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421394)

In a word: stupidity.

Re:Yea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421400)

"Commie" is an epiphet/slur/insult. Stronger than idiot or *sshole, but right on the heels of c*nt or n*gger.

Re:Yea (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421422)

In US politics only old people participate[1] since voting isn't mandatory and young people are stupid and lazy[2]. You have to remember that the soviet union collapsed in 1991 and a grand total of 2 years of voters have lived since then. 1 year if you count the last major election (2010). Even if you exclude youngsters you still only have 10 of about 60 years of voters who don't remember the soviet union being around. It's going to be a while before the average citizen didn't have their political paranoias formed after Communism stopped being a threat.

[1] http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/01/todays_median_age_voters_grew.html [realclearpolitics.com]

[2] Sad but true.

Re:Yea (1)

FutureDomain (1073116) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421430)

Man, you just wasted a lot of dialogue on an obvious troll. Troll: 1 Neokushan: 0.

Re:Yea (2)

Born2bwire (977760) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421646)

Commies, or Communists, come in many dastardly forms. They include:

1. Pinko.
2. Bolshevik.
3. Russian.
4. Chinese.
5. Cuban.
6. Canadian.
7. European.
8. Anyone of differing opinion.

God help us if anyone of the above manage to infiltrate the US and spread their Communist creed.

Please Stop... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421130)

... And actually put some thought and investment into a secure infrastructure, this time? The existing implementations are horribly reliant on auxilliary security controls, such as firewalls, to protect systems that rely on plaintext passwords and access controls to protect them from buffer overflows and other rudimentary vulnerabilities. These systems, and the NERC CIPS policies that act as a paper armor against scrutiny, present a real danger to our infrastructure, and pouring more money into procurement is really going to make things worse.

Re:Please Stop... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421786)

wont happen.

Too much money in at this point. You really dont want to know what they have planed. The people running the projects think the controls you described are fine.

I might be afraid (2)

cultiv8 (1660093) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421132)

Will Siemens have anything to do with the 21st century electric grid?

Re:I might be afraid (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421210)

I think the better question is, is this really just a ploy to sell more GE nuke plants in a post-fukashima "get that faulty reactor out of my country" paradigm? My money is on Jeff Immelt having this in his pocket when he bought Rahm Emmanuel's job.

Re:I might be afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421252)

You don't have to have a nuke plant in your backyard. This is the 21st century, we'll just "put it in the cloud."

Re:I might be afraid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421526)

Is that the thunder of Anonymous applause I hear?

We all know (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421164)

We all know where this is going ......

Will there be? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421172)

an I-phone app to shut down the grid?

no homer simpson can do that from his CRT based (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421416)

That is setup at his home as he very fat and is on workers comp. So he gets to work from home.

Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (1)

russotto (537200) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421194)

This policy framework charts a collaborative path forward for applying digital information or â(TM)smart gridâ(TM) technologies to the nationâ(TM)s electricity infrastructure to facilitate the integration of renewable sources of power into the grid; help accommodate the growing number of electric vehicles; help avoid blackouts and restore power quicker when outages occur; and reduce the need for new power plants.â

Uh, yeah. Doesn't matter how "smart" you make your grid, every watt used has to be generated at some power plant. It's not like our current grid is dumping massive amounts of power into a hole somewhere. So if you want to reduce the need for power plants, you're talking about reducing demand, and the only way to do that through the grid is to turn people's stuff off whether they like it or not. Do not want.

And electric vehicles can only increase demand. Massively, if they were to really catch on.

Re:Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (4, Interesting)

yarnosh (2055818) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421240)

I had read that there's actually at lot of capacity that just goes to waste over night. If most EVs charged over night, it wouldn't be much of a burden on the grid as a whole (though local transformers might need upgrading). At least not for a while. I mean, it would be a while before most peopel ha gone electric.

Re:Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (1)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421254)

Sheesh, can't you even read the title?

White House To Announce IT-Powered Smart Grid

I just invested in treadmill manufacturers.

Re:Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421602)

White House To Announce IT-Powered Smart Grid

I just invested in treadmill manufacturers.

I just invested in industrial sized cremation ovens, and steam generators. Tomorrow morning I tender my resignation from IT.

Re:Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421286)

So if you want to reduce the need for power plants, you're talking about reducing demand, and the only way to do that through the grid is to turn people's stuff off whether they like it or not. Do not want.

Not true. Market-pricing would reduce demand without having to shut anyone's power off.

Maybe you should stick to what you know (4, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421334)

Lots of generated power goes to waste. Our current grid is effectively "dumping massive amounts of power into a hole." The smart grid helps to reduce that waste.

Re:Maybe you should stick to what you know (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421512)

tru dat [google.com]

Re:Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (3, Interesting)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421466)

if you want to reduce the need for power plants, you're talking about reducing demand, and the only way to do that through the grid is to turn people's stuff off whether they like it or not.

That would only increase demand. One way to reduce demand for power, and it works well for anything but is not popular, is to tax the living hell out of energy usage that goes beyond some acceptable and reasonable daily allotment. This way energy hogs would subsidize the energy cost for those that conserve.

Re:Also a pony and a flying car for everyone. (3, Insightful)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421584)

reducing demand, and the only way to do that through the grid is to turn people's stuff off whether they like it or not. Do not want.

You have no idea what you're talking about. Apart from many ways already to store energy generated during low demand at more efficient plants, there's all kinds of ways to conserve electricity with no noticeable decrease in work done by it. In fact the "smart" techniques tend to upgrade the electrical system for better control that improves the value of the work done by it, even as it conserves waste. And then there's the really smart techniques that "turn people's stuff off" only when they want (or don't care about) it.

Just because you don't have the imagination (or research, or hipness to daily news) to realize that smart grids improve the electrical value to its users precisely as it's cutting its consumption, doesn't mean it's not already available. Find out what's beyond your own ability to do yourself before you earn the privilege of dispensing sarcasm about it.

Solar panels on White House roof (1)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421354)

I read somewhere that Bill Clinton put some solar panels on the roof of the White House. His successor (GWB?) took them off, as soon as he can. So, has Obama put them back on? After all, energy policies begin at home.

Re:Solar panels on White House roof (5, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421432)

It was Carter who put them up, and Reagan who took them down.

Re:Solar panels on White House roof (2)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421630)

When Bill McKibben brought back Carter's solar roof panels (that had been stored in Maine since Reagan took them down), Obama promised to put them back up.

That was last year. Obama's got a week and a half [thinkprogress.org] before he misses the deadline announced by Energy Secretary Chu back in October 2010, June 21st.

Re:Solar panels on White House roof (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421828)

Why would they put 30+ year old solar panels back on the White House? That'd get in the way of their AAM.

Better to get new ones that have the missiles underneath.

Besides, you can rely on Google Maps, they blank out the white house roof.

Why ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421460)

... are we leaving the operation of the grid up to IT?
Uncle Fester [fanpop.com] seems eminently more suited to the job.

the horror (1)

afnofear (1839744) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421464)

is no one worried about skynet

Life imitating movies? (1)

wiedzmin (1269816) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421476)

I wonder if Bruce Willis will still be around to save us from a firesale once this is in place ;)

POE FTW (1)

Eyezen (548114) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421488)

IEEE 802.3a400amp

What this is really about (3, Informative)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421524)

Based on everything I have read about a "smart grid", this is about making sure that everyone has an electric meter that lets the power company (and through them the government) track exactly when and how much electricity they use. "Dear Mr. Doe, we see that you have set your air conditioner to 72 degrees. Don't you think it would be more responsible to set it at 74 degrees."

Re:What this is really about (2)

bunratty (545641) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421606)

My understanding is that power usage could be remotely controlled in case of emergency. Instead of brownouts or rolling blackouts, the smart grid could turn up the thermostat temperature on hot days. Everyone would be slightly less comfortable, instead of some being miserable because they don't have reliable energy.

Re:What this is really about (3, Insightful)

MrData (130916) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421640)

Or we could just build more power plants to keep up with the population.

Re:What this is really about (1)

HornWumpus (783565) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421712)

You can already opt into such a program. Peak Corps IIRC

It reduces your summer electric rates and once you've wrapped the box in aluminum foil and grounded it you are unaffected.

Re:What this is really about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421826)

Pot growers will get shafted by this when they legalize. Fucking morons.

Re:What this is really about (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421738)

If you don't want anybody to know how much power you're using, you'd better get some solar cells on your roof. I don't know any other way to generate energy on the premises.

What a waste! (1)

toby (759) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421570)

Cheney's Energy Task Force already did all the research. All they have to do is refer to those files!

Siemens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421582)

Hopefully it won't be controlled by Siemens PLCs, or any other crackable system. Hopefully it will be on its own private WAN.

Don't talk to me about IT being involved until.... (1)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421632)

...you first talk about how you're NOT going to outsource said IT jobs to India.

News flash there, Obama. US job "creation" doesn't really count if we get outsourced 6 months later after we design and build the damn thing.

You want to get your lawmakers involved? Then do what's right and keep US jobs in the US.

Gey Dude (1)

essayservices (2242884) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421650)

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This IT-Powered Smart Grid brought to you by... (2)

The Altruist (1448701) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421690)

Sony.

Re:This IT-Powered Smart Grid brought to you by... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421838)

No, its General Electric. Duh

given their track record (1)

superwiz (655733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36421710)

It will cost in the 1st year than the entire projected cost of the project, will run into "unexpected" technological difficulties and the failure will be blamed on "unknown unknowns."

Who does it benefit? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36421796)

Is it to benefit the people of the country or corporate profits? A true smart grid and new regulations should encourage small energy producers and even individuals to generate excess power. I'd love to put up extra solar cells and a good sized windmill but in most areas there's no reguirement for the power companies to buy the excess power they simply take it and don't pay for it. In fact I'd be charged a maintenance fee just to be hooked up to the grid even if I fed back twice what I used. Look at it this way, if you live in a good area for sun and put up say a 10 kilowatt solar bank every 5 years and wound up with 30 to 50 kilowatts still producing at retirement you should be able to benefit financially from that power you are providing. Let's say a modest farm put up a series of windmills or maybe used bio-gas to produce electricity. I've read of some decent sized dairy farms producing enough to power a 100 homes on top of what they consumed. In some areas they wouldn't be able to sell back the excess power. The power companies complain that all the small providers cause line problems that exceed their value. If we are blowing all this money on a smart grid that should address such problems then government needs to pass laws forcing power companies to accept power from individuals and pay a fair price for excess power. It could reduce the need for new power plants and remove some of the pressure on fossil fuels. I think everyone that can aford it should be encouraged to produce as much power as possible.

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