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The Social Impact of the Future Smart Grid

By Erin Harrison

While much progress has been made with today’s smart grid, the smart grid of the future will impact our business landscape, the energy marketplace and the ways in which we interact socially and culturally.

The smart grid’s largest social impact will be seen in developing nations, notes Christine Hertzog, managing director of the Smart Grid Library, in a posting “Managing Change for the Smart Grid.” Hertzog states that approximately 2.4 billion people of the world live in energy poverty – what she terms a “permanent blackout.”

In addition, the smart grid will enhance control and convenience in the industrialized world while allowing for social progress in developing nations, according to smart grid experts. When and how well these benefits gain traction will depend on how skillfully today’s energy providers manage change.


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