Monday, February 09, 2009

Smart Grid = Big Bucks, Bigger Headaches

When an ad for a new "smart grid," poppued up during the Super Bowl, you knew the that somebody stood to make big, big bucks from the idea, but today, Rebecca Smith dives into the issue in the Wall Street Journal. According to a new study, the price tag is $100 billion, and the cost of the supporting generation infrastrcutue would dwarf that.

As reported in the Journal:

"The transmission system would cost up to $100 billion. Building the wind turbines needed to generate the desired amount of power would cost about $720 billion, the study estimates -- making the total investment about equal to the size of the current stimulus bill. The money would be spent over a 15-year period, and would be financed primarily by utilities and investors."

But cost is just the tip of the iceberg... Buried in Smith's article is the real issue behind the issue:

'The projected cost of the system is only one hurdle. Getting the high-voltage power lines build across the country would require the assent of local authorities and landowners, and might require federal intervention. "For that 15,000 miles of lines, I promise about 15,000 lawsuits," said Mr. Moeller."

Here's the full article: