EU-US Smart Grid future depends on overcoming frugality

A report by business intelligence firm GBI Research says that an EU-US Smart Grid standard can be coordinated, if financial frugality can be overcome.

The report says the U.S. plans to implement smart grid technology to reduce the national energy demand by 20 per cent, improve system efficiency by 40 per cent and incorporate 20 per cent renewable sources into its total electricity capacity by 2030.

However, these impressive aims may not be met if plans fail as a result of the global recession, reports the Environmental Leader.

In 2011, the U.S. Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology and the EU’s Smart Grid Coordination Group agreed to collaborate on smart grid standards development, joining standards between the two continents to ensure that smart grid devices and systems can be used together globally.

However, the economic crisis in the U.S. may negatively affect smart grid development. The US’s sovereign credit rating was reduced by the Standard and Poor’s rating agency last year from ‘AAA’ to ‘AA+’, which will affect government loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. These will demand high levels of interest until economic stability returns to improve the country’s credit rating. Long-term borrowing will therefore prove difficult, and a lack of investments for power infrastructure may lead to delays and even discontinuation.

Meanwhile last year, research firm Zpryme predicted the value of China’s smart grid market will rise from $22.3 billion to $61.4 billion by 2015.

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