Reports & Resources

Digitizing the Grid: Next Steps on Policy

A Report from the Bipartisan Policy Center

Digitization means applying recent advances in digital technology such as electronic devices or data and information systems, to improve the technical and economic performance of real activities, systems, businesses, and organizations. The Bipartisan Policy Center launched the Digitizing the Power Sector initiative to better understand the challenges and opportunities of digitization as applied to one of our nation’s most complex and vital infrastructure systems: the electricity grid.

The electric power sector is changing rapidly, enabled by digitization. Government officials at all levels are grappling with how to maximize the benefits and minimize the costs. The goal of this paper is to inform this national, state, and local policymaking.

Specifically, we explored how digitization can improve the efficiency, reliability, resilience, and performance of the power sector across the entire value chain—from electricity production to transmission, distribution, and end-use consumption—by helping key actors to better predict and respond to change. The benefits of this transformation could be enormous: According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), the potential value of grid digitization worldwide over the next decade is $3.3 trillion ($1.3 trillion for the electricity industry plus $2 trillion in societal benefits).

CEP Executive Director, Karen Wayland, Ph.D., contributed to this report.

Click here to download Dr. Wayland’s Powerpoint presentation.

Click here to read the full report.