We've talked at length
about the "smart grid" before -- the idea that adding intelligence into the electrical transmission and distribution grid (and some lump in distributed generation as well) would help promote energy efficiency, reduce waste in transmission, and prevent outages and brownouts.
Now the Global Environment Fund, a cleantech venture investment firm, has released a very useful study
(note: opens pdf) which specifically addresses the subject. Out of the global $81B spend on power grid infrastructure in 2005, they argue, $25B could be addressed by "smart" products. As they point out, transmission spending is already forecast to be greatly increasing in the U.S., since...