Is the future of the Smart Grid the past?
“Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.”--Edmund Burke
- Bill Gates says that a lot of money will be lost on the Smart Grid fad.
- Efrin Ibraham of EPRI says that the government is wasting money on smart meters and that they currently are pointless.
As with every Silicon Valley boom there will be losers as well as winners. The capital and regulation of the power industry is somewhat at the opposite end of the business spectrum from freewheeling startups of Silicon Valley. Whether you are an investor, an entrepreneur or someone that wants to know where the jobs will be, it is worthwhile to spend an evening away from company pitches and technical wish lists and gain some perspective about where we might be going and how we're going to get there.
Tuesday, January 26th
6:00 to 9:00 PM
Fenwick and West
801 California Street
Mountain View, CA
For info write: Don Steiny - firstname.lastname@example.org or call; 650-646-5368
The Electric Salon kicks off its discussions inspiring
innovation and opportunity by bringing sociologist Mark Granovetter together
with the technicians, entrepreneurs and investors who are building the
smart grid. Professor Granovetter will tell us how technical and organizational
issues were less important in building the current electric industry
than might be supposed giving us a glimpse into the future of the new
Granovetter is the Joan Butler Ford professor of Humanities and Science at Stanford and a leading sociologist.
The "Strength of Weak Ties," one
his best known papers, provides the theoretical bases for modern social
networking. His interests are not confined to networks but extend
to broader social forces. One of his research interests is the development
of the electric power industry.
From Granovetter's website at Stanford:
[The] project (which began as a collaboration with the
late Patrick McGuire, University of Toledo) concerns the origins and
early development of the electricity industry in the United States. Extensive
archival and secondary research shows that individuals mobilizing financial,
technical and political resources through their social and professional
networks pushed the industry in certain directions, with substantial
historical contingency and path dependence. Technology and organizational
forms were not simply responses to technical or economic exigencies;
in fact, technical and organizational forms shunted aside in this period,
and then forgotten, were far more plausible technically and economically
than usually supposed. Some such forms, such as the decentralized production
of power in homes and factories, and the separation of distribution from
production, began to re-appear in the late twentieth century as the “wave
of the future”; ironically, this study shows these to be, in fact, the
wave of the past.
The Making of an Industry: Electricity in the United States". With Patrick McGuire. Pp. 147-173, in Michel Callon, editor, The Laws of The Markets, Oxford: Blackwell.
A related paper can be found at: Electric charges: The social construction of rate systems
6:00 - 6:45 - Mingle, eat, network
6:45 - 7:15 - General introduction to salon, Granovetter's presentation
7:15 - 8:15 - Q and A with Granovetter and discussion
8:15 - 9:00 - Mingle and continue disucssions.