Marin County Bans "Smart Grid": Will The EV Market Suffer?
As one of California’s leading bastions of privileged liberalism ( 2009 per-capita income: $91,483) , Marin County is probably one of the top counties worldwide in terms of EV market potential. But apparently the local government isn’t ready to tap its unique combination of money and idealism to become a leading market for electric cars. Even as Californian EV activists are being forced to install second power meters to separate EV charging from home electricity use in order to take advantage of lower electricity rates for EV charging, the NYT reports that Marin County has banned the use of “smart meters” which would allow more widespread EV adoption.
Smart meters, which communicate electricity use wirelessly to the power company would allow EV charging to be easily separated from home use, but they also raise a number of issues that Marin County simply doesn’t want to have to deal with. Privacy, health risks from electromagnetic frequency radiation, and radio communication interruptions are all cited in the Marin County ordinance [ PDF here] which bans installation of the smart meters in unincorporated areas of the county. The upside for EV enthusiasts is that this affects on 70k of the county’s 260k residents… but again, knowing Marin County, the county’s numerous rural mansions are probably a huge part of its potential base of EV support. And the towns of Fairfax and Watsonville have already banned smart readers, as has Santa Cruz County, another prime EV market. Time to start rethinking those running costs?
Dumb-ass Luddites can be rich/poor, progressive/conservative. It's not a major surprise.
Ontario's had smart meters now for several years. Nothing negative has happened, except the hydro bills have gone down... ooooh, scary....
Unions have tried to stop virtually every privately funded large scale solar project in CA by filing "environmental" objections until the companies give in to unionization. Then the "environmental" concerns go away. Here's one NYTimes story: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/19/business/energy-environment/19unions.html Here's more: http://www.allgov.com/Controversies/ViewNews/Unions_Fight_against_Solar_Energy_Project_in_California_Desert_110104
If we adopt smart grids, it will be used an excuse to block the building of generating capacity of any type. If the wind mills don't produce electricity, so what? We will just use the smart grid technology to go around your house and turn off your HVAC, your television, and your lights, in order to spare the grid which no longer carries enough power because they have decreed my reliance on solar power (I live in a town with 72 clear days a year) and wind (class 1 wind around here). Second, the smart grid is a new avenue for government intrusion into our lives. Members of "minority" groups will claim that any action to cut power to their neighborhoods is racism. Power cuts to the districts that vote the right way will be rarer than hen's teeth. Don't bother to buy a new refrigerator if you live in a district that votes the wrong way. Non-union factories won't get electricity, but Government Motors will have all they need. But wait, there is more. Too fat? No electricity for your kitchen. Want to stay up late. Sorry, lights are out at 10 p.m. in this town. I will support smart grids, after Washington is run by honest politicians.