Smart grids

Electricity grid investments are expected to reach about USD 290 billion in 2021, recovering from 2020 and even surpassing the 2019 level of about USD 270 billion. The considerable expansion plans expected for 2021 are likely to reverse last year's trend.

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Key findings

Investment spending on electricity grids, 2015-2021


Investment in smart grids needs to more than double through 2030

Investment in electricity grids showed a strong increase of 6% in 2021, with advanced economies accelerating investment to support and enable the electrification of buildings, industry and transport and to accommodate variable renewables on the power system.

Despite some recovery from the economic disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, investment in smart grids need to more than double through to 2030 to get on track with the Net Zero Emissions by 2050 Scenario, especially in emerging market and developing economies.

Investment in electricity grids needs to average around USD 600 billion annually through to 2030 to get on the Net Zero Scenario trajectory. This is almost double the current investment levels, at around USD 300 billion per year.
Our work on Smart grids

The ISGAN TCP is a strategic platform to support high-level government attention and action for the accelerated development and deployment of smarter, cleaner electricity grids around the world. Operating as both an initiative of the Clean Energy Ministerial, and as a TCP, the ISGAN TCP provides an important channel for communication of experience, trends, lessons learned, and visions in support of clean energy objectives as well as new flexible and resilient solutions for smart grids.

The IEA is expanding cross-Agency efforts to assess the policy, regulatory, technology and investment context needed to accelerate progress on power system modernisation and effective utilisation of demand side resources, leveraging the opportunities offered by digitalisation. The project draws from global experience and lessons learned to address emerging economies challenges and provide actionable recommendations.