Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
GMI 2013 top smart grid states

Consumer Technology

California and Texas Smart Grid Success Shows Way Forward For US

California and Texas lead a new ranking of US smart grid implementation, and the common factors in the 15 most successful states could direct the future of American grid modernization.

California and Texas lead a new ranking of American states succeeding in smart grid integration – but for very different reasons, with big implications for the future of U.S. grid policy.

GMI 2013 top smart grid states

GMI 2013 top smart grid states image via GridWise Alliance

The top 15 ranked states in the 2013 Grid Modernization Index (GMI), released this week by the GridWise Alliance and Smart Grid Policy Center, had three factors in common: retail energy consumer choice, participation in a regional grid system, and renewable portfolio standards.

But while the top states had common underlying reasons for their smart grid success, California and Texas (which both scored 83 out of 100 possible points), demonstrate how grids can be modernized even under completely different policy settings.

Smart Policy: The Recipe For Smart Grid Success

GMI is the first-ever assessment of smart grid integration in America based on policy and activity effectiveness. The report evaluated success based on three metrics – state policy and regulatory mechanisms, customer engagement, and grid operations.

Data was gathered on 41 states and the District of Columbia, and while each state has different drivers for grid modernization, a clear path forward for smart grid growth is apparent in GMI’s findings. As a whole, the top 15 states all demonstrated the following attributes:

  • Participation in a regional grid system – 23 of the states belonged to a regional grid operator, and they scored 14% higher on average in every component than the 19 states that operate their own grid.
  • Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS)  – 26 of the states have a mandatory RPS, scoring 8% higher on average than states with voluntary renewable goals and 16% higher than states with no renewable energy goals.
  • Retail energy choice – 16 of the states offer retail customer choice in competitive energy markets, meaning individual homeowners or businesses can choose which utility they purchase power from, and these states scored 17% higher than states with monopoly utility structures.

The top 15 states also have three smaller contributing factors in common: proactive efforts on cybersecurity and data privacy, investment from federal stimulus smart grid grants, and widespread smart meter deployment. These factors aren’t too surprising, as research has shown more than a 2-to-1 return on smart grid investment from stimulus funding, and 10 of the top 15 states have installed smart meters for at least 60% of their customers.

Different Routes To Smart Grid Integration

Even though the top-ranked states had clear common factors, GMI’s two top-ranked states show how smart grid policy can adapt to individual state settings to build a modern grid. California and Texas tied atop the rankings for both policy/regulation and customer engagement, but in very different ways.

California, considered the epicenter of America’s clean tech economy, is investing in smart grid technology as a way of integrating renewables and moving toward a clean energy future. High penetration of smart meters have allowed perks like net metering, and energy storage has taken hold as a way to even out high amounts of renewable electricity.

In Texas, retail energy choice has driven smart grid efforts. The state is considered to be America’s most mature competitive energy market, which has encouraged suppliers to offer flexible pricing systems and customer engagement programs. High smart meter penetration rates are credited with empowering customers to take advantage of these innovative service offerings.

Once Again, States A Laboratory For National Policy

The policy implications of GMI’s findings are clear – smart policies spur smart grid modernization efforts, which create a cleaner and more secure energy infrastructure, regardless of political leanings.

“Modernizing America’s electric grid is vital to ensuring our electric system will be able to meet the demands of our digital society,” said Becky Harrison, GridWise Alliance CEO. “If the US is to achieve a modernized grid, the states will play a major role regarding how, and at what pace, this transition will occur.”


Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

Silvio is Principal at Marcacci Communications, a full-service clean energy and climate policy public relations company based in Oakland, CA.

Comments

#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.

 

Support our work today!

Advertisement

Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports

Advertisement

EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

Advertisement

Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Fossil Fuels

The largest U.S. fuel pipeline remains shut down following a massive ransomware cyberattack on Friday. The Colonial Pipeline, described by one analysis as “the...

Air Quality

Southern California air quality regulators approved a rule on Friday to cut down on air pollution related to the approximately 3,000 logistics warehouses that...

Clean Power

Originally published on RMI.org. By Alexander Dane & Alisa Petersen US city budgets are tighter than ever due to COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan Act, recently...

Clean Transport

Originally published on EVmatch. By Jeff Pickett There have been some exciting recent developments for adventuresome EVangelists such as myself. While much of driving for...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.