Economic Message of the Week: Obama Announces Billions in Smart Grid Investments

President Obama announced the largest energy grid update investment in history, establishing funding for technologies that will drive the American clean energy economy.

The grant awards, part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, total some $3.4 billion, and will be "matched by industry funding for a total public-private investment worth over $8 billion." They were awarded to 100 private companies, utilities, manufacturers, cities, and other partners across the country.

The announced investments include infrastructure-boosting grants to help consumers cut utility costs, funds for the expansion of a manufacturing base to support smart grid technologies, and modernization projects intended to increase efficient energy transmission and distribution.
The investments are projected to create tens of thousands of jobs, reduce costly power outages, and put America on a path to get at least 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.
An analysis by the Electric Power Research Institute estimates that the implementation of smart grid technologies could reduce electricity use by more than 4 percent by 2030, saving $20.4 billion for businesses and consumers nationwide.

Published: November 5, 2009