The push for a modernized electrical grid
Despite a cooling economy and dropping oil prices, interest in developing a 'smart' electrical grid is at an all-time high.
According to a USA Today report , the drive for alternative energy has cooled somewhat, thanks to the economic recession slowing down solar and wind energy developers, and oil prices dropping from their all-time high in 2008. However, one small section of the energy industry is gaining interest: developing a “smart” electrical grid.
As part of his $819 stimulus plan, President Obama has called for the installation of 3,000 miles of transmission lines to carry renewable energy to population centers and 40 million smart electric meters in residences. The House’s version of the bill sets aside $11 billion to help in financing the investments. In addition, top power companies and lawmakers are clamoring for up to $1 trillion for a nationwide backbone electric grid, and parties from utilities and venture-capital firms are pouring billions of dollars into the "smart grid"—despite the growing economic crunch.
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Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.