Economics of renewable energy help US smart gridMay 13, 2013
Renewable energy continues to find support in the US
The U.S. Department of Energy has been a strong advocate for new forms of energy for several years. The federal agency has been responsible for much of the progress the country has made in the renewable energy sector for some time, but has also served as a stumbling block for this progress through its support of very specific forms of renewable power and forgoing a focus on the country’s energy infrastructure. Though the Department of Energy has made efforts to modernize the country’s energy grid, it was not until very recently that these efforts became more serious.
Modernizing energy grid considered an important, but not strongly supported endeavor
Part of the problem with modernizing the country’s energy grid to make it more accommodating to renewable energy is garnering enough support to justify such efforts. The Department of Energy has released the “Economic Impact of Recovery Act Investment in the Smart Grid” report, which aims to provide some support for such efforts. The report highlights the impact that the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has had on the country’s energy infrastructure, as a significant portion of the funds associated with this law were devoted to modernizing the grid.
Report highlights the economic benefits of a smart grid
According to the report, the ARRA had a major impact on the country’s economic through a focus on modernizing the energy grid. The report notes that the smart grid projects that were supported through the ARRA created a combined $7 billion in economic output in 2010 and created approximately 50,000 jobs throughout the country. The report also shows that these projects have produced some $1 billion in t ax revenue for the federal government.
Economic impact may bring more support to renewable energy
The economic impact of the ARRA in terms of supporting the establishment of a smart grid may generate more support for renewable energy in the U.S. Renewable energy has been gaining ground as a primarily economic issue, rather than one solely concerning the environment. The economics involved in renewable energy may be enough to secure more support for grid modernization efforts from the federal government as well as the private sector.