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Obama still pushing smart grid, but CEOs are pushing for a national energy policy

By: SmartNews.com |

Quick Take: The Obama Administration’s National Science and Technology Council has just released A Policy Framework for the 21st Century Grid: A Progress Report that highlights recent achievements. A few takeaways:

  • The President continues to tout the smart grid, even calling for “self-healing power grids” during his State of the Union address
  • The administration cites reliability, efficiency and renewables integration as the three major benefits
  • The administration sees policy as a major enabler — or a major blocker

The report highlights progress in smart meters and sensors; in rural grid modernization; in workforce training; in customer empowerment (via Green Button); and in cybersecurity. — Jesse Berst

Progress aside, we still need a comprehensive national energy strategy insists the Business Roundtable (BRT), a group representing CEOs from major U.S. companies. BRT just released a report of its own – Taking Action on Energy: A CEO Vision for America’s Energy Future –which it says is the national energy strategy we need.

In the report, BRT CEOs call on Congress and the Obama Administration to adopt policies that will enhance U.S. self-sufficiency, boost economic growth and promote environmental stewardship. The plan includes detailed and specific recommendations in each of four areas – energy efficiency; traditional energy production; renewable energy production; and electric power generation, transmission and distribution. It calls for measures to:

  • Foster innovationby sustaining public investments in a diverse portfolio of pre-commercial R&D activities
  • Drive increased energy efficiency
  • Improve access to promising energy resources
  • Reform incentives for renewable power technology deployment
  • Encourage accelerated modernization of the electric power sector

 “America’s electric power infrastructure has long delivered value to consumers and enhanced industrial competitiveness,” said Nicholas K. Akins, President and CEO of American Electric Power and a BRT member. “To preserve that value, sound energy strategy must maintain fuel diversity for power generation, support investment in our nation’s transmission system, provide a long-term solution for storing spent nuclear fuel and consider the economic consequences of energy and environmental regulation.”