Electricity. Boring or cutting edge? Forces pushing for energy efficiency are mustering to see if they can make the smart grid a smart bet. Next week is GridWeek, a big conference in Washington D.C., whence flows much money and power. Keynotes: Energy Secretary Steven Chu and Commerce Secretary Gary Lock. Clearly if much is done about making our American electric gird smarter, it will depend on federal money and federal influence. This will directly affect the fates of numerous smart grid companies from software and metering to generation facilities. Little companies like IBM and General Electric could become crucial if the U.S. really does smaften its grid. It will affect all utilities across the land as well. Those in the smart grid sector already know about this site. For the rest of us, more than we want to know, but constantly updating smart grid activities globally. One topic of serious interest: efforts to build smart grids in Italy and South Korea. Here's a summary of the South Korean effort, aimed at completion by 2030. And theirs is a tiny grid compared to continent-spanning U.S. Korea's spending over 100-billion on renewable energy and a more efficient smart grid.