In Pursuit of a Smarter Grid
By Tom Zeller Jr. on November 19, 2009
The so-called smart or super grid — terms that loosely describe an upgraded electricity transmission network augmented by digital communications technology — is championed by Al Gore, the former vice president and climate change crusader; endorsed by John Doerr, the visionary venture capitalist; and pursued by countless start-ups.
Getting the thing off the ground, however, is far easier said than done.
Such was the message percolating through a gathering of entrepreneurs and investors as the two-day GreenBeat 2009 Conference on the Smart Grid kicked off Wednesday evening in San Mateo, Calif.
“The super grid is going to be the last great network we will build in our lifetimes,” said Mr. Doerr, a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, in an opening keynote discussion. Getting there, however, will require increased political leadership, Mr. Doerr said — and a lot of patient investment.
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