"I don't think we can solve all our problems by tapping low-hanging shale-gas fruit":
"Tom Murphy: I’d sooner have smart people than a smart grid, deciding that it’s in our collective interest to scale back energy use at a personal level. Failing that, a smart grid helps distribute demand in such a way that intermittent renewables are more easily accommodated (using energy when it’s available).Read the full interview at the European Energy Review site
Some things may work well like this, but I don’t think this is a realistic way to hide variable energy supply from the consumer. They may be irked that they lose control over when the laundry decides to start, possibly resulting in clothes smelling of mildew, or that they are not present to fold clothes at 2 AM when the dryer is finished. Loss of control may not play well. If, instead, informed people accepted limitations of future energy supplies, and modified their own behaviour accordingly under their own control, we would break the habit of people taking energy for granted: an attitude that the smart grid attempts to preserve. We want greater personal awareness of energy, not less. "