We ask a lot of our electricity grid. We count on it for abundant, reliable, sustainable, affordable energy. And with California’s new energy policies, we’re asking more of it every day. New technologies are emerging to transform our grid into a smart, efficient centerpiece of California’s energy future.

The Real Reasons We Must Have a Smarter Grid

CIEE's Merwin Brown offers this compelling historical review of the electric industry presented at the i-PCGRID Conference in March 2012 supporting his premise that developing a smarter grid isn't an option; it's a necessity for meeting the needs of consumers, commerce and energy policies for the 21st Century. Merwin's presentation traces the beginnings of the impetus for a smarter grid to events and trends started in the 1960's. Learn More »

When we think of the grid that delivers our electricity, most of us picture the familiar network of towers and power lines snaking across the horizon. But with growing demands on its performance, this once workaday infrastructure must become a more dynamic, high-tech system.

Electric Grid Research at CIEE is helping develop, demonstrate and deploy technologies for new tools to modernize the grid and maximize its ability to meet customer needs and California’s aggressive energy-policy goals. The vision is a smarter, more responsive, more robust and resilient grid — the heart of California’s quest to reduce greenhouse gases, improve energy efficiency, and deploy more renewable energy, all while satisfying the new and growing ways customers use electricity.

With funding from the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program and the U.S. Department of Energy’s ARPA-e program, CIEE is working to make these new technologies reality through research and demonstration. Experts are zeroing in on technologies that will equip the grid to deliver substantially more energy from renewable sources — economically, efficiently, and dependably. They’re arming operators and engineers with new tools to monitor and control the complex and fragile grid, and keep the power flowing. And, they’re supplying the research to help energy providers and policy makers plan wisely and invest soundly in grid development.