In part 1 of our series on smart grid marketing expert Judith Schwartz's recent Scaling Green Communicating Energy lecture, we focused on the importance of effectively introducing the smart grid to specific consumer market segments and individuals. In part 2, we turned to the benefits of the smart grid for businesses and the general public. In part 3, we focused on the importance of energy literacy in maximizing the benefits of the smart grid. Today, we turn our focus to the future - where the smart grid will hopefully take us in the coming years.
In the future, Judith Schwartz argues, as resources become constrained and electricity usage increases, the smart grid will become a necessary "enabling tool" for society – in which we "tie sustainability to economic value and economic vitality," and in which "by taking care of our planet and doing what's needed, then we'll all be better off on so many levels." Schwartz elaborates further on her vision for the smart grid:
I’ll frame it in terms of what I would like to see. I think we live in a planet where we have more people than resources and we’re going to have to be smarter because as more people have higher standards of living, they want to have electricity and nice things and cars. I think if we don’t use our creativity to come up with better ways to live on this planet, we’re going to either pollute ourselves, or put ourselves under water. I’m hopeful that before it’s too late, people will in fact say, “I’m going to do whatever I can, whether it’s investing in infrastructure, whether it’s investing in clean energy, whether it’s just using water more expeditiously, that we recognize that we’re sharing this little planet that’s running around in outer space and we better take care of it before it’s too late.” I’m hopeful that Smart Grid can contribute to that.
We are hopeful as well, particularly with smart clean tech communicators like Judith Schwartz out there, working to explain why the smart grid matters to people from all walks of life.