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Smarter Power


As the nation’s power system ages and grows insufficient, UC researchers are building a smarter, greener electric grid for the future.

Someday most drivers will power their cars by plugging in. Home appliances will be networked wirelessly and automated to maximize their efficiency. Solar, wind and other renewable energy sources will provide most of the country’s power.

But it can’t happen on the nation’s current electrical grid. A renewable energy-based system will require new technology to facilitate the large-scale transmission and storage of solar and wind power. As more electric cars hit the road, a new system is needed to handle all the motorists trying to charge up at the same time.

Researchers at University of California campuses and labs are working on a myriad of projects to develop and deploy systems to modernize the nation’s electrical system into one that relies on renewable energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The so-called smart grid is part of President Obama’s clean energy initiatives and is needed to implement Gov. Jerry Brown’s call for installing 12,000 megawatts of renewable power generation in California by 2020.