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Smart grid report from Lexington Institute explores benefits, pitfalls

Chances are you've heard plenty from people like me about the smart grid, which is being funded generously as part of the economic stimulus package. But WHY exactly is the smart grid important?
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

Chances are you've heard plenty from people like me about the smart grid, which is being funded generously as part of the economic stimulus package. But WHY exactly is the smart grid important? Answering that question is the focus of a new report that was published in August 2009 by the Lexington Institute.

One big theme is the smart grid's role in enabling electric vehicles, which are key to reducing the United States' oil consumption. Apparently, a very small amount of oil is used for heating homes with most of it gobbled up by transportation and industrial uses.

The report contends, for example, that the country's dependence on foreign oil could be sharply reduced by a shift to electric vehicles. Indeed, part of the smart grid stimulus package calls for one million or more hybrid vehicles to be on the road by 2015. (A mere six years away.) Sales of non-gasoline vehicles could account for 41 percent of all new vehicle sales by 2022, according to data from the Energy Information Administration's Annual Energy Outlook 2008.

You can download the report by visiting this link.

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