Our transmission grid is overdue for an upgrade. More than 70% of America’s transmission lines are nearing the end of their 50-80-year lifespan, and the older our antiquated grid gets, the more vulnerable it becomes to failure. According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office analysis, power outages have become longer and more frequent in recent years, affecting nearly three in four Americans and jeopardizing the health and safety of vulnerable people. America needs more transmission to keep up with its growing electricity needs.
Introducing ‘Transmission Possible’: A New Campaign to Break the Gridlock and Advance New Transmission Policies
The United States electric grid is undergoing a transformation and significant changes need to occur for Americans to fully realize the benefits of these improvements. The key is the transmission system. As the federal agency charged with regulating interstate transmission of electricity, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) is uniquely positioned to create new rules that better ensure Americans can achieve equitable, affordable access to energy, secure our grid’s future reliability, and accelerate the transition to clean generation and advanced grid technologies.
This blog post is an excerpt from the Advanced Energy Now 2023 Market Report, prepared for Advanced Energy United by Guidehouse Insights. This post is the fifth in a series of excerpts from the report.
Worldwide, Advanced Electricity Delivery and Management (ED&M) products and services, which includes a subset of the overall ED&M market, achieved an 11% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the period 2017 to 2022; in the U.S., the CAGR was 13% over that same period.
The year 2022 was the biggest for the segment since we started tracking it in 2011, recording 15% annual growth globally and 16% in the U.S. While global growth was slightly slower in 2021, at 14%, ED&M grew significantly in the U.S. (+41%) due to the proliferation of large-scale energy storage. The impact of energy storage technologies on total market growth has been quite significant over the past two years. For example, when excluding the Energy Storage subsegment, ED&M annual market growth in 2021 falls from 14% to 9% globally, and from 41% to 19% in the U.S.
There is much discussion in the press about the high cost of rebuilding our transmission infrastructure to facilitate our clean energy future. There is much less discussion about the costs we are already paying associated with not moving quickly to rebuild our aging grid. Transmission is critical infrastructure, powering our 21st digital economy and keeping us all safe and protecting us when weather is extreme. Much of the U.S. transmission grid is long past its expected useful life.
Across the country, clean energy developers are facing increasingly long and costly waits to connect their projects to the grid. The core problem they face is the lack of grid infrastructure to get clean electricity from where it’s made to where it is used.