The Department of Energy has submitted the 2010 Smart Grid System Report in response to Section 1302 of Title XIII of the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which directs the Secretary of Energy to report to Congress concerning the status of smart grid deployments nationwide and any regulatory or government barriers to continued deployment. This is the second installment of this report to Congress.

A smart grid uses digital technology to improve the reliability, security, efficiency, and environmental impact of the electricity system, from large generation through the delivery systems to electricity consumers.

Recent progress toward achieving a smart grid also includes the following:

  • Awards and funding made under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 includes electric vehicle component manufacturing, phasor measurement unit and advanced metering deployment, and expanded broadband access.
  • There are now 29 states that have renewable portfolio standards.
  • Distributed resource interconnection policies have been either implemented or expanded in 14 states since 2008, promoting the advancement of distributed generation technologies.
  • Incentives to purchase and own electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are either planned or provided in 21 states.
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology published the first release of the framework for smart grid interoperability standards and guidelines for smart grid cybersecurity.

However, significant challenges to realizing smart grid capabilities persist, including the value proposition and the capital required to purchase the new technologies for communicating information between end-users, energy providers, and distribution and transmission providers. These and other challenges are explored in this report, as are recommendations for enhancing future smart grid system reports.

The complete 2012 Smart Grid System Report is available for review.