Smarter Ways Forward with The Ray

Frequently, PACE talks about consumers’ interest in transportation from a fuel supply angle (oil pipelines) or integrating new technologies (electric vehicles). Many big thinkers are attempting to envision how, when and at what cost energy, telecommunications and transportation will converge. Many laudable “Smart Cities” projects and pilots with broad scopes of inquiry are underway.

While sweeping inquiries are useful, it’s also beneficial to focus more closely on a set of questions and issues. More discrete sets of information often have a better chance of getting and holding people’s attention. Those who live and work far from cities should also


Time to Build Energy Infrastructure

Several key congressional committees chose to focus on Infrastructure this week. This makes sense, as practical chances for moving a comprehensive infrastructure package are likely to run out of fuel around July 31, as lawmakers kick over into re-election gear.

President Trump set forth a $1.5 trillion infrastructure plan a few weeks ago but it is having trouble getting traction, in part because it only called for $200 billion in federal spending. Stacked up against the visible needs to overhaul nearly every category of infrastructure, from roads to broadband to water systems, that seems too little.

It’s not appropriate to


Smart Cities: What's in a Name?

After Harvey and Irma, some cities and towns may need to rebuild parts of their infrastructure. To do that, they can partially rely on disaster relief public assistance from the federal government, but also will need their own funds and sweat equity. Local government personnel, elected officials, and concerned citizens may discuss the “Smart City” concept as they formulate plans to move forward with recovery.

The word “Smart” clearly speaks to consumers, since it’s attached to a wide range of products and services. (It already has a longer shelf life than that relic of 1990s marketing, the “e- prefix”). No