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Modernizing the U.S.' antiquated electrical grid is a task that will likely take decades to complete, but at least we're off to a good start with more than five million smart meters installed nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Modernizing the U.S. electrical grid is a task that will most likely take decades to complete. At least we're getting started now, with more than two million smart meters installed nationwide, according to the

As much as plug-in advocates would like to believe otherwise, mass adoption of battery electric vehicles (EVs) will not be the silver bullet to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EVs are only one piece of the puzzle. In fact, cars of all kinds only represent 20-25 percent of all the greenhouse gas emissions in the world. Thus, even if we electrify the entire vehicle fleet, it won't come close to addressing the full scope of the greenhouse gas reductions that are needed.

Not long ago, several important companies with interests in the utility and energy businesses created the GridWise Alliance. The group, which recently added fifteen new members (still no CA Edison), announced a meeting next week in Washington D.C. to discuss smart grids, how they can help us reduce our carbon footprint and how they are affected by the Energy Act of 2007.

Last week, Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell announced his Energy Independence Strategy. The EIS calls for more ethanol production in the state, lots of smart meters in homes and an Energy Independence Fund.

It's not all rides and photo-ops at the Alt Car Expo in Santa Monica this weekend. There are two full days of discussions going on as well. These are not as detailed as the EDTA Conference sessions from D.C. the other week, but they're well-attended and get out more information to another group of people.

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