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Smart Grid Investing

Jeff Siegel

Written By Jeff Siegel

Posted April 11, 2011

There was a lot of talk last week about spending cuts. And plenty of blame-slinging, too.

Of course, both sides are full of crap.

Democrats want to cherry-pick a handful of spending cuts that will do nothing to save this sinking ship. And their inability to wrap their heads around this reality gives them zero credibility when it comes to matching their rhetoric with action.

And the fact that most republicans still refuse to shun big oil money while attacking Planned Parenthood and clean energy programs proves that they’re really more concerned about pushing their own backwards social agenda that rewards complacency and penalizes progress.

None of it really matters either way. Neither side is interested in doing the grunt work it’ll take to prepare our nation for the future.

They’re too busy continuing their respective partisan deceptions.

But while the dolts on the Hill maneuver to appease extremists, there are others trying desperately to get an important message out to the people…

Without the appropriate investments, we’re dead in the water.

Don’t Buy the Lie

Listen, spending cuts are paramount. There’s no doubt about that.

And I’m not talking about barely noticeable funding for things like public radio or minority business development programs.

Not to say taxpayers should be ponying up for this stuff, because we shouldn’t.

But let’s face it… NPR ain’t bankrupting America. Blank checks for Big Oil, Social Security, Medicare, and about a dozen other fiscal drains hidden behind the backs of high-priced lobbyists are.

And until these bureaucrats in Washington — with their sweet retirement plans and no concept of what it’s like to actually have to make real financial sacrifices — make actual strides to gut these pigs, we’ll continue on the same downward spiral.

But don’t kid yourself, either. Anyone who thinks we can get this nation back on track by making drastic spending cuts across the board and investing in nothing is delusional… especially when it comes to energy and infrastructure.

So needless to say, I was very pleased last week after I saw some new and very promising data on smart grid development from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI).

No Chump Change Here

According to the EPRI, the investment needed to implement a full functional smart grid in the United States ranges from $338 billion to $476 billion.

It ain’t cheap.

But the result of such an investment would measure up to between $1.3 trillion and $2 trillion. That’s no chump change, my friend.

EPRI’s estimate reflects a wealth of new grid-related technologies, market structures, more widespread deployment of renewable energy, and systems that address grid security.

Benefits of this smart grid development include:

  • cost reductions

  • enhanced reliability

  • improved power quality

  • increased national productivity

  • enhanced electricity service

Of course, for us there’s an added benefit as well: profits.


So here are a few publicly-traded companies that are already benefiting handsomely from the development of a U.S. smart grid:

  • Itron (NASDAQ: ITRI)
  • EnerNoc (NASDAQ: ENOC)
  • Comverge (NASDAQ: COMV)
  • General Electric (NYSE: GE)
  • Siemens (NYSE: SI)
  • Honeywell (NYSE: HON)
  • Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO)
  • ITC Holdings (NYSE: ITC)

Get to know these companies well, as these are the companies that will help facilitate our new energy economy.

You can read the EPRI’s full report here.

To a new way of life, and a new generation of wealth…

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Jeff Siegel
Editor, Energy and Capital

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