US and Russia buddy up on smart grid

International aid and cooperation between former Cold War foes is a beautiful thing, especially when it’s focused on making the planet a greener place.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), working with the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE), recently announced the next leg of a partnership with Russia on energy efficiency and and smart grids.

The partnership seeks to share experiences and best practices between U.S. and Russian municipalities and utilities focused on installing and implementing energy efficient, 21st  grid infrastructure.

An exchange of this nature has already occurred between utilities and regulators in Texas and federal and utility officials in Kaluga, Russia, and recently a memorandum of understanding was signed in San Diego and Belgorod, Russia.

USAID’s Deputy Assistant Administrator for Europe and Eurasia Jonathan Hale called the partnership, in a statement, “a win-win effort for the U.S., Russia, and the global environment and climate.”

He also noted that, in addition to helping both countries make better use of existing energy resources, this partnership will help participating regions bring more renewable energy onto the grid.

USAID and USDOE will be working to further business and commercial ties established via the Texas-Kaluga partnership over the coming year. A business roundtable is planned for the Fall in Russia is in the works, as well as a joint study on regulatory issues and barriers in smart grid deployment.

* Susan DeFreitas, EarthTechling