If Only Our Grid Had a Brain
Superbowl ads are a decent way to see trends. During the dot-com bubble, you could see ads for various websites. This year, GE will debut an ad campaign for smart grids. The 30 seconds commercial will feature "a dancing Scarecrow and will discuss a smarter, more efficient, and sustainable electrical energy grid." It's impressive when you think about it: Since when is the electrical grid sexy enough to deserve such an expensive spot?Of course, GE's goal with this ad is to raise the visibility of smart grid technologies with the general public so that when politicians try to spend big bucks on them, public acceptance is higher. That's good for GE's pockets, and that could be good for nature since we could reduce transmission losses by a significant amount, use variable pricing and feedback to increase conservation, and we could use more renewable energy (especially intermittent sources like wind and solar power). The main thing to be careful about is implementation and not wasting tax dollars (but the grid, at least in the US, is overdue for an upgrade).
GE's Ecomagination site doesn't seem to have been updated with info about this campaign yet, so it's not exactly clear what types of improvements to the grid they are alluding to, but if you're curious about it, check after the Superbowl.
Check out our past coverage of smart grid technologies:
Building Smart Grid Systems: Is Your Neighborhood on Board?
Smart Grid Coming, But Are Smart Homes?
Boulder, Colorado: First to Have a Smart Grid?
Advance Excerpts of "Electronomics: How the Smart Grid Will Power American Prosperity"
SMART 2020 Report: Smart Grids Can Cut CO2 Emissions by 15 Percent
Smart Grids Are the Big Thing of 2009
IBM Gathering More Utilities for Smart Grid Deployment