Former Vice President Al Gore stood before a crowd of renewables investors, analysts and clean energy industry executives and declared the electric power grid in the U.S. as much of a technological dinosaur as landline telephones.
Gore, speaking in New York City at the Bloomberg New Energy Finance Future of Energy Summit, asked those in the crowd to raise their hands if they had gotten rid of their landline telephones in favor of a cell phone. Hands went up all over the room.
“We’re not far off from the day when I can ask you how many of you no longer have a grid connection,” Gore said, referring to the link between a home and the power lines outside.
The industry name for cutting the wire between homes and power lines is “grid defection,” and it’s controversial because there is broad disagreement about whether it’s both possible and sensible.