grid-friendly appliances. The distribution systems could be modernized by 2030 if such a consensus is reached nationwide.

Costs: The estimated cost to modernize the T&D system is modest relative to the investments that will be required simply to meet load growth and replace or upgrade aging equipment.

  • Transmission. At a minimum, an investment of $9 billion per year would be needed in the transmission system from 2010 to 2020, and $14 billion per year from 2020 to 2030. Of these investments, $2 billion per year from 2010 to 2030 and $3 billion per year from 2020 to 2030 would be the incremental costs of modernizing the transmission system. In comparison, utilities and organizations that operate transmission systems spent $7.8 billion in 2007.

  • Distribution. An investment of $26 billion per year between 2010 and 2020 and $38 billion per year from 2020 to 2030 will be needed for the distribution system. Of these sums, $7 billion per year from 2010 to 2020 and $10 billion per year from 2020 to 2030 would be devoted to modernization.

Barriers: The committee has identified the major barriers to T&D modernization as follows:

  • Technical. Current high costs of advanced technologies, as well as challenges of systematically integrating existing technologies, constitute a barrier to modernizing the T&D system. This situation is further compounded by the risk-averse nature of the electric utility industry.

  • Investment. The exclusion of societal benefits (such as avoiding costs to the public from widespread blackouts) in the return on investment for the transmission system is a barrier to industry investment in modern transmission technologies.

  • Regulatory and legislative. The lack of a comprehensive national vision for the transmission system could form a barrier to transmission modernization. In particular:

    • There is limited multiregional planning and coordination of improvements to the transmission system. Overarching consensus-based standards for grid modernization are necessary but do not currently exist. An open-protocol communications architecture and mechanisms for



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