Costly upgrades possible for US transmission grid


Demands and changes caused by the increasing electrification of transportation and heating in the United States will require transmission infrastructure and distribution upgrades totalling $30 B to $90 B by 2030 with an additional $200 B to $600 B needed between 2030 and 2050.
 
Those statistics come from a new report prepared by The Brattle Group for WIRES, a trade association that advocates for transmission investment. The study estimates that the number of electric vehicles on the road will jump from one million today to seven million by 2025 and increase exponentially from there.
 
Demand will also come from changes in residential and business heating as more electric heat pumps are used throughout the U.S., not just in warmer climates. The report notes that technology advances could also lead to more electrification of many industrial processes.
 
Based on the average annual transmission investment over the past 10 years, the report projects investment levels would be 20 % to 50 % higher through 2030—or about $3 B to $7 B more spent each year. Those numbers increase significantly from 2030 through 2050, requiring a 50 % to 170 % increase in transmission investment, or between $7 B and $25 B a year.
 
Source: Commercial Property Executive