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Forbes Column 2009: The Smart-Grid Dilemma

Posted on Friday, Mar 27th 2009

Zero-In this week highlights the disconnect between capitalism, market forces and the need for a smarter, cleaner energy world. Read The Smart-Grid Dilemma.

Coming from a pure capitalist at heart, this is one of a series of columns you will be reading on the limitations of capitalism to do the right thing.

This segment is a part in the series : Forbes Column 2009

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I think you missed a key piece of research here: decoupling. California and
several other states *have* adopted policies decoupling the incentive of IOUs to
sell more power from profits.

That’s why PG&E will give you a refund if you buy an efficient appliance
because they can make money by selling less electricity.

A weak version of decoupling was placed in the stimulus bill. States that
accept block grants for energy efficiency research must make a good faith effort
to enact decoupling policies to go with the it otherwise you’d be right and the
tech would never be deployed.
The original house bill had much stronger language but it got diluted when the
moderate Senate faction went through the text.

Scott Monday, March 30, 2009 at 4:00 PM PT