The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has released an assessment of the costs and benefits to modernize the U.S. electricity system and deploy the Smart Grid, finding the investment needed to implement a fully functional Smart Grid ranging from $338 to $476 billion. The assessment estimates that the Smart Grid could result in $1.3 to $2 trillion of benefits.

The estimate reflects new technologies related to the grid, information and communication technologies; market structures; demands of an increasingly digital society; more widespread deployment of renewable power production and its integration into the grid; expansion and maintenance of existing infrastructure; and technologies and systems to address grid security.

The analysis updates EPRI’s 2004 assessment, which estimated the cost of implementing a Smart Grid at $165 billion. The updated analysis assumes steady deployment of smart grid technologies beginning in 2010 and continuing through 2030.

The project team analyzed projected costs over the next 20 years, looking at core smart grid technologies in four areas: transmission, substation, distribution and customer interface.

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