By Joshua D. Rhodes, Postdoctoral Fellow at The University of Texas at Austin Energy Institute
This piece was originally published in The Conversation and has also been published by the Associated Press, the Houston Chronicle, the San Antonio Express-News, the San Francisco Gate, the Albany Times-Union, and The Atlantic’s CityLab.
The electric grid is an amazing integrated system of machines spanning an entire continent. The National Academy of Engineering has called it one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century.
But it is also expensive. By my analysis, the current (depreciated) value of the U.S. electric grid, comprising power plants, wires, transformers and poles, is roughly US$1.5 to $2 trillion. To replace it would cost almost $5 trillion. [Read more…]