It would be great if everyone would watch Now on PBS tonight. It is on KET1 at 8:30. The video above is nice, but it just has more punch when you actually watch the program on television...especially on EPB cable! (sorry about the shameless plug)
The program does a great job helping everyone see the sort of relationship between energy consumers and energy providers that we have been trying to bring about in Glasgow, both from the EPB's perspective and from Sustainable Glasgow's perspective. For those of you who might have read my recent series of articles entitled Another World - Parts 1 - 3, you got a good feel for how we have been planning the technology to change this relationship. We were counting heavily on being able to roll the technology out to the whole community over the next couple of years through the economic stimulus funds announced earlier this year and administered through the US Department of Energy (DOE). Unfortunately, just this week the winners of those grants were announced and Glasgow was not among the successful applicants.
In fact, of the $3.4 billion made available for "smart grid" projects, no cities in Kentucky were given a dime. Meanwhile, places like Chattanooga and Knoxville, and Memphis got hundreds of millions of dollars for projects. It sort of makes you wonder just what a city like Glasgow, who has moved the infotricity ball steadily down the field for twenty years, would have to do to be considered worthy of some modicum of support from our federal government. Weren't we supposed to be represented by an exceedingly connected and powerful Senator? Hmmm...
So, that means we are back to where we have always been, doing the hard work and science of understanding how to change the way people use electric power all by ourselves. That means that the new world we discussed over the last few weeks, and the one better represented in the video story about Denmark, is going to be a bit slower in coming and a lot more expensive for us to put in place, but we are not about to give up on the idea. Stay tuned for our continued work with Google and other technology partners to bring new technology to the people of Glasgow. We can probably move more quickly and learn more by continuing our guerrilla warfare methods than we could have done if we had gotten all of that money anyway (even though I certainly would have liked to have experienced what life would be like with someone giving us money).