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Creating a Smarter U.S. Electricity Grid

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  • Paul L. Joskow

Abstract

This paper focuses on efforts to build what policymakers call the "smart grid," involving 1) improved remote monitoring and automatic and remote control of facilities in high-voltage electricity transmission networks; 2) improved remote monitoring, two-way communications, and automatic and remote control of local distribution networks; and 3) installation of "smart" metering and associated communications capabilities on customer premises so that customers can receive real-time price information and/or take advantage of opportunities to contract with their retail supplier to manage the consumer's electricity demands remotely in response to wholesale prices and network congestion. I examine the opportunities, challenges, and uncertainties associated with investments in "smart grid" technologies. I discuss some basic electricity supply and demand, pricing, and physical network attributes that are critical for understanding the opportunities and challenges associated with expanding deployment of smart grid technologies. Then I cover issues associated with the deployment of these technologies at the high voltage transmission, local distribution, and end-use metering levels.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 26 (2012)
Issue (Month): 1 (Winter)
Pages: 29-48

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:26:y:2012:i:1:p:29-48

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jep.26.1.29
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  1. Severin Borenstein, 2002. "The Trouble With Electricity Markets: Understanding California's Restructuring Disaster," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 191-211, Winter.
  2. repec:reg:wpaper:270 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Thomas Taylor & Peter Schwarz & James Cochell, 2005. "24/7 Hourly Response to Electricity Real-Time Pricing with up to Eight Summers of Experience," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 235-262, 01.
  4. Severin Borenstein & Stephen Holland, 2005. "On the Efficiency of Competitive Electricity Markets with Time-Invariant Retail Prices," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(3), pages 469-493, Autumn.
  5. Ralph Turvey, 1968. "Peak-Load Pricing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 76, pages 101.
  6. Severin Borenstein, 2005. "The Long-Run Efficiency of Real-Time Electricity Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 93-116.
  7. Severin Borenstein, 2007. "Wealth Transfers Among Large Customers from Implementing Real-Time Retail Electricity Pricing," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 131-150.
  8. Paul L. Joskow, 2006. "Markets for Power in the United States: An Interim Assessment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-36.
  9. Allcott, Hunt, 2011. "Rethinking real-time electricity pricing," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 820-842.
  10. Hogan, William W, 1992. "Contract Networks for Electric Power Transmission," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 211-42, September.
  11. Severin Borenstein, 2006. "Customer Risk from Real-Time Retail Electricity Pricing: Bill Volatility and Hedgability," NBER Working Papers 12524, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Massetti, Emanuele & Ricci, Elena Claire, 2013. "An assessment of the optimal timing and size of investments in concentrated solar power," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 186-203.
  2. Lang, Corey & Siler, Matthew, 2013. "Engineering estimates versus impact evaluation of energy efficiency projects: Regression discontinuity evidence from a case study," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 360-370.

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