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Challenges 2013, 4(2), 217-233; doi:10.3390/challe4020217

A Smarter Grid for Renewable Energy: Different States of Action

1 Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota, 301 19th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA 2 College of Science and Engineering, University of Minnesota, 200 Union Street SE, Keller Hall, Minneapolis, MN 55455, USA 3 Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, TAMU-2258, College Station, TX 77843, USA 4 Environmental Science and Policy Program, Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610, USA
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 August 2013 / Revised: 28 October 2013 / Accepted: 31 October 2013 / Published: 15 November 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Alternative Energy)
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Smart grid has strong potential to advance and encourage renewable energy deployment, but given the multiple motivations for smart grid, renewables are not always central in smart grid policy discussions. The term “smart grid” represents a set of technologies, including advanced meters, sensors and energy storage that are crucial for the integration of more renewable and low carbon electricity into the electric power grid. However, developing and building a smart grid is jurisdictionally complex, path dependent and context specific; states and regions are approaching grid modernization in different ways. This paper reports on a comparative analysis of smart grid development in seven U.S. states. We use state-level policy documents to learn what motivates smart grid development and how smart grid is framed in relation to renewable energy. In some states, renewable technologies are presented as an integral part of the smart grid policy discussion, while in others they are largely absent.
Keywords: electricity; smart grid; grid modernization; transition; renewable energy electricity; smart grid; grid modernization; transition; renewable energy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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Koenigs, C.; Suri, M.; Kreiter, A.; Elling, C.; Eagles, J.; Peterson, T.R.; Stephens, J.C.; Wilson, E.J. A Smarter Grid for Renewable Energy: Different States of Action. Challenges 2013, 4, 217-233.

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