The bad news: Because of inefficiencies throughout the utility system supply chain, the world’s grids are now incredibly wasteful. Since there is almost no intelligence in the grids to balance loads or monitor power flows, they lose enough electricity annually to power India, Germany and Canada for an entire year.
The good news: There are some folks working on making utilities smarter. James Governor mentions John Soyring in his recent post, and here’s a and a four minute interview with Ron Ambrosio on what IBM is working on:
UPDATE: we’re creating a new animation where the five-year-old boy’s analogy more accurately reflects how the utility grid operates.