Was Smart Grid Funding Misspent?

on December 03, 2012 at 11:40 AM

A recent report from the National Institute for Science, Law & Public Policy came with a provocative press release title: “Smart Grid Funding Misspent on Obsolete Technologies.” The press release got plenty of attention from the utility and smart grid news circles, but it’s tough to tell if any of those actually read the report, “Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid,” written by Timothy Schoechle, a consultant in computer engineering and standardization and former faculty member of the University of Colorado’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. The report primarily takes aim at smart meters, which got the lion share of stimulus funding. Schoechle raises many questions and concerns that many others in the industry have identified, including the value of smart meters (although he also does not acknowledge their value when connected to more end-to-end smart grid projects, as many others do); the question of data privacy; and the issue of whether the meters, in and of themselves, will save consumers money.