As we move to a cleaner energy system we should leverage – not replace – the existing power grid according to Dr. Joshua Rhodes at the University of Texas at Austin.

In his new article, Rhodes quantifies the value of the infrastructure that makes up the nation’s power grid (power plants, transmission and distribution lines, substations, transformers…). He then explores the possible pathways that we can take as we move to a cleaner energy future, estimating the cost of each option.

In the end, Rhodes concludes that:

“There is no path that does not require investment – even just maintaining what we have will cost hundreds of billions, if not trillions, of dollars over the next decade. The bigger question is: As we continue to replace and rebuild this amazing grid, what technologies should we focus on?”

One can read the entire article for free here.