Big Stimulus Spending Isn't All Good For The Smart Grid

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The government’s plan to throw $4 billion at the smart grid is great news for utilities and tech companies who want to roll out new technologies. But it could be stunting the smart grid’s growth.

Executives who spoke with Earth2Tech say utilities are waiting around for the government to fund new projects. Until they get money, they’re not proceeding with any expansionary plans. The money is expected to be awarded at some point in October or November. Of course, it could be later.

Then when the funds finally start rolling out, watch out for lawsuits, warns Frank Ramirez, CEO of thermal energy storage company Ice Energy. When the government starts picking winners–which it will have to do–you can bet some companies will raise a fuss. There’s over 100 companies applying for a slice of the smart grid spending.

However, those are two minor quibbles, when you consider what the big glut of spending could do. This will not only boost the smart grid in the short run when the money is handed out, it can also lay down the initial spending to spur bigger plans for all utilities, and tech companies. Heck, even the companies that are deemed losers by the government could ultimately end up winning if the smart grid gets bigger.

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