Part of Grid Network »

The Transmission Professionals special interest group covers the distribution of power from generation to final destination. 

Post

Constructing New Transmission Infrastructure Would Repower the US Economy

image credit: © Joe Sohm | Dreamstime.com

Julian Jackson's picture
writer and researcher BrightGreen PR

Julian Jackson is a writer whose interests encompass business and technology, cryptocurrencies, energy and the environment, as well as photography and film. His portfolio is...

  • Member since 2020
  • 158 items added with 56,325 views

A report from the international trade association WIRES shows that improving the transmission lines would create far-reaching employment and GDP benefits

WIRES, the international trade association that promotes investment in all aspects of the high voltage grid, has recently released an analysis prepared on its behalf by London Economics International LLC (LEI) that highlights the short- and long-term economic benefits and job creation that would be actualized by financing high voltage transmission projects.

The Repowering America: Transmission Investment for Economic Stimulus and Climate Change report identified $83 billion in planned transmission projects around the country that have been ISO/RTO Board-approved and/or recommended to regulators. LEI’s investigation found that this infrastructure investment would boost GDP by $42 billion, create approximately 442,000 well-paying jobs, and hike direct local spending by nearly $39 billion cumulatively during the construction phase of the projects.

Your access to Member Features is limited.

This new analysis comes hot on the heels of a report by ACORE – the American Council on Renewable Energy, which makes a similar case for investing in the grid to spur innovation as well as boost the post-COVID economy.

The LEI report also determined that in the longer term over the transmission assets’ lifecycle, the operations and maintenance of these projects would provide an annual GDP increase of $1.6 billion and create around 9,000 permanent jobs. The co-benefits of the transmission projects were also highlighted as offering longer-term impact on GDP, including reduction in electricity prices, increasing renewable generation, and advancing decarbonization goals. Previous investments in transmission have helped the nation recover from economic shocks and it is likely that this would too.

“This report quantifies what WIRES and its members have long known — that investment in transmission infrastructure drives family-supporting jobs and can deliver a significant boost to the national and regional economies. That’s just what we need in our current economic climate,” said Larry Gasteiger, Executive Director of WIRES. “The Biden Administration clearly views grid infrastructure as a critical component of its Build Back Better agenda and a means to achieve its ambitious climate goals, and WIRES commends its focus on transmission. We encourage more attention on federal policies and incentives that will spur even more grid investment, and address planning, siting, permitting and cost allocation issues that delay transmission build out, so the country can more quickly reap the benefits of this mission-critical infrastructure.”

Of the $83 billion in approved and/or recommended planned projects, LEI found that the GDP during the construction impact (including the installation and domestic manufacturing stages) could generate an increase of nearly 14% of utilities current value-added GDP and more than double utilities’ current regional employment, based on 2019 levels.

“It is clear that transmission infrastructure is a powerful driver for unlocking GDP growth and job creation in the U.S.,” said Julia Frayer, managing director at LEI. “In our analysis we purposefully took a very conservative assessment of the figures, and anticipate that the multiplier effect and co-benefits of transmission projects would drive substantially greater economic impact.”

Taken overall, these two reports make a very strong case for investment in the country's aging infrastructure. The benefits in jobs, with their secondary effects, would help communities which have seen employment and businesses hit hard by the pandemic.

The full report is available for download here:

https://wiresgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/WIRES-Repowering-America-transmission-investment-May-5.pdf

Julian Jackson's picture
Thank Julian for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Discussions

Spell checking: Press the CTRL or COMMAND key then click on the underlined misspelled word.
Christopher Neely's picture
Christopher Neely on May 20, 2021

Although it may not be the $83 billion for projects that are ready to go, the DOE just announced more than $8B in loans for transmission infrastructure projects. The plan to update the country's infrastructure while creating jobs seems to be on the move. As the country's recovery begins, I hope to hear more announcements like this, building back better starts, in large part, without making our energy system resilient. 

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »