Why We Need a Robust Transmission Grid

Prepared By Dr. Jürgen Weiss, J. Michael Hagerty, and María Castañer of The Brattle Group

WIRES offers this important study by The Brattle Group to demonstrate the importance of proactive infrastructure planning in anticipation of the electrification of major sectors of the U.S. economy. This groundbreaking report finds that electrification will drive the need for significant investment in the electric transmission grid to cost effectively support new demand for electricity. At the same time, the economics of natural gas and renewable generation resources will continue to drive changes to the mix of fuels on the grid. Meanwhile, public policies surrounding clean energy and climate concerns are already changing the face of corporate strategies and utility operations, which are increasingly regional, inter-regional, and even national in scope. Regional grid planner and managers are struggling to stay ahead of these changes. These factors, combined with the coming sea change in electric usage, indicate there is an urgent need for more effective longer-term planning to support an electrified economy and the new fuel mix. This is the latest in a series of WIRES studies for policy makers interested in the evolving high voltage electric grid.

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