The US Department of Energy (DOE), a virtually worthless government agency that fails its own energy mandates (more here and here), is hard at work making America “green.” So far $11B of “stimulus” money has been dedicated to the construction of a “Smart Grid” – an upgrade to the US electrical distribution grid. Of course this is only seed money as the overall cost is expected to be far higher to propagate this technology across the US.
In anticipation of Smart Grid, DOE is busy with their regulatory hammer to drive up the prices of household appliances that must conform to the new technology (story here from BigGovernment.com).
The next step in Green won’t even require Congressional approval. The Department of Energy recently decided they have authority over appliances in your home. Energy Secretary Steven Chu recently issued five new energy efficiency standards for large appliances, and is reworking the policy to include ten new categories. According to Assistant Energy Secretary Cathy Zoi “…we have a mandate. Where we can actually just issue regulations and do market transformation.”
Ostensibly the concept of Smart Grid may seem like a good idea. The ability to manage power loads during peak hours and accommodate the fluctuations inherent in “green” (wind & solar) power generation seems like a pretty good idea. Unfortunately it also opens the door to the power police – government bureaucrat “geniuses” who always know better than you.
It is like we are moving backwards in time, seeing modern life outlawed one convenience at a time. Right now social engineers are busy working on “Smart Grid” technology. (The perennial question: if environmental choices are actually so intelligent, why do the marketers have to convince us, with names like “Smart Car,” and “Insight?”) The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 set aside $11 billion dollars to begin construction of that grid.
Smart Grid sounds harmless and modern, but it will be incredibly intrusive. Appliances in the future will have microchips installed; when you plug them in, they will handshake with the grid, and a central authority will determine whether that appliance deserves to get power or not. If a bureaucrat in Washington decides that it’s not hot enough for you to put on the air conditioner, your air conditioner will not work. If the Fed decides that Margaritas lead to too much trouble on Cinco de Mayo, all blenders can be disabled for the day.
They can also turn off radios, televisions and computers. In the era of electronic information, restricting the freedom of the press is as easy as turning off the light. The idea is to conserve power, but a Smart Government will be able to use the technology to retain power as well.
And as for my beautiful pink basement refrigerator, you can forget that. In fact every appliance that was built before the smart grid will eventually be forbidden power. Which means that once the “Smart” Grid is fully operational, everything in your house that requires a plug will probably need to be replaced –including your hysteria device (which will also leave a record the central office, every time it’s turned on).
There is no question that Air Conditioners in Washington DC will be functional year round, while those of us out in Red State American will deal with the limitations of windmills that are incapable of keeping the entire nation cool in the stagnant summer air.
Nothing more than another government power grab with a “green” technology cloaking device.