Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Trillion Here, A Trillion There...

This is real money. The Edison Institute commissioned a study from The Brattle Group which puts a price tag of $1.5 to $2 trillion on the total investment necessary to maintain the current level of reliable electric service in the United States through 2030:

For this investment, our customers will get more efficiency and more control over their electricity use, lower carbon-emitting generation sources, and a higher-technology, more resilient and reliable electric grid capable of meeting their growing electricity needs.

Energy efficiency and demand response programs can significantly reduce, but not eliminate, the need for new generation capacity. However, increasing energy efficiency and demand response programs will require significant investment that, in part, will offset the avoided generation investment.

Implementation of a new federal carbon policy will significantly increase the cost and the mix of new generation capacity.

Required transmission and distribution investment could be as large as, or larger than, generation investment.

Ouch. Makes the Iraq War and the Splurge look cheap in comparison.
Executive Summary [PDF]
Full report [PDF]

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