In April 23-26, 2007, the inaugural GridWeek event took place in the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC. The purpose was to raise awareness and generate support for advancing and modernizing the grid and bring attention to an impending problem.

“It is estimated electricity demand will increase 50 percent over the next 50 years. This will require the construction of approximately 1,900 generating plants,” said Rick Boucher (D-Va.), chairman, House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Air Quality.

GridWeek was a national gathering of utility companies, technology and service providers, smart grid initiatives, federal and state regulators and lawmakers, electricity consumer groups, and other observers. GridWeek was developed in support of President Bush’s National Energy Policy and the provisions of the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

“The energy bill will help ensure that consumers receive electricity over dependable modern infrastructure … . We have a modern interstate grid for our phone line and our highways. With this bill, America can start building a modern 21st century electricity grid as well,” President Bush said at the act’s signing.

Among the events were committee meetings, panel discussions, keynote speakers and informational presentations. One of the featured events was the National Town Meeting on Demand Response hosted by the Demand Response Coordinating Committee (DRCC), whose mission is to build a demand response community as the renewable and environmental community.

The cost and availability of oil, alternative energy, efficiencies, security and green sustainable renewable sources were main topics of discussion. GridWeek focused on the vision that the Internet is becoming necessary to manage and automate the new world of the electric grid. A new idea is emerging that energy generation will transform into decentralized components.

For more information, visit www.gridweek.com. EC