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Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Electricity Infrastructure (2012)

Economic Development Research Group for the American Society of Engineers, 2012

For the ASCE report, Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Electricity Infrastructure, EDR Group assessed the long term economic consequences of current electricity infrastructure investment patterns and funding levels. There is a growing gap between needs and available infrastructure, and the study examines ways that households and business will face higher costs if sufficient electricity generation, transmission and distribution systems are not available in the future.

Based on current investment trends, the national electricity infrastructure gap is estimated to be $107B by 2020, or just over $11B per year. By 2020, shortfalls in grid investments are expected to account for almost 90% of the investment gap with nearly $95B in additional dollars needed to modernize the grid. Closing the electricity investment gap would lead to fewer brownouts and blackouts and save US businesses $126 billion, prevent the loss of 529,000 jobs and $656 billion in personal income losses for American families.

This is the third report in ASCE’s Failure to Act series prepared by Economic Development Research Group. The first report, Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Surface Transportation Infrastructure, encompassed highways, bridges, rail, and transit. Subsequent reports addressed energy transmission, as well as airports and marine ports. Failure to Act: The Economic Impact of Current Investment Trends in Water and Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure focuses on the pipes, treatment plants, pumping stations, and other infrastructure that make up the nation’s public drinking-water and wastewater systems.

Full Report

Executive Summary

ASCE Failure to ACT Studies Webpage

Washington Post article 4/26/12

NPR.org article 7/7/12