We are facing a high-stakes moment for smart grids. Trillions of dollars of private and public sector investment are at stake over the next 20 years. But, the future of smart grids is unclear. Some believe that smart grids will usher in the next Internet boom — democratizing energy management and use. Others imagine the future of electricity grids falling into the hands of a few, powerful, established players that are poised to leverage smart technologies into even greater control over national energy flows. Now is the time for business leaders across a wide array of sectors to question their assumptions. They should consider how critical uncertainties with respect to the differentiated evolution of the energy and power infrastructure around the world might impact their businesses and their corporate, innovation and investment strategies.