In another blog post, we have emphasized the need for a grid autopilot system to avoid the costly grid refurbishment. Sure, we need to have new such technologies to support this large-scale integration of renewables and EV charging stations. But is that enough? I would say we need more efforts (than we are currently doing) in terms of awareness and incentives for people. These efforts should be done by us all collectively: citizens, governments, businesses, etc.
There is a very nice book from David MacKay: it tells what human actions are significant to reduce the energy footprint of an individual. We should read it and spread these actions in public as widely as possible. Bike to work is a very nice effort an individual can do to reduce his energy footprint. There are some other small things an individual can do to raise awareness. When we use the bike to work, wear a T-Shirt that says on the back "Do you really need the car for this trajectory?". I'm sure this will help.
Incentives do help. But this is not always the case. Take the example of elevators in multi-floor buildings. People go to the Gym but take elevators instead of stairs. That's not logical at all. It's okay to take the elevator if there are other heavy stuff to carry. Likewise, it's okay if someone is old or unable to use stairs. But I see many healthy people taking elevators for going to their apartments and at the same time, complaining about not doing enough physical activity or doing a physical activity some other time while wasting electricity using elevators. On the worst note, even wasting electricity while running in the gym. We need to put incentives here. Elevators in the multi-floor building should be paid per use and I'm sure many will shift to taking stairs. Our urge to Builders, building owners, and elevator manufactures, please do your part.
On a side note, elevators are a huge source of energy consumption. They usually weigh equal to ten person weight and if there is one person using it, we are wasting the energy to lift 11 people. Elevators should be used only when/if necessary. Not casually.