Interstate Smart Electric Grid
According to the American Society of Civil Engineers, our electric grid, the set of high-capacity wires that moves electricity all around the country, is in terrible shape, earning a D+ grade. The current system will simply not be able to handle an Interstate Wind System, or other renewable sources such as solar or geothermal.
We also want the grid to be "smart", that is, able to integrate with information technology and sense and control problems and even home appliances in order to keep the national electric system running smoothly.
A well-designed grid could also include a substantial amount of storage of electricity. There are many types of storage, but we will assume a certain amount of large-scale battery storage.
According to a study by the Electric Power Research Institute, as explained in an article in the New York Times, an upgraded smart grid would require between $338 billion and $476 billion. Let’s round that up to $500 billion. Let's assume a 20-year construction period, at $25 billion per year In addition, a national set of large battery systems could be integrated into the network, providing another layer of protection against intermittency problems. Gar Lipow in his book Solving the Climate Crisis, chapter 15, estimates $1,000 per KW capacity , or $1.2 trillion over, say, 20 years, or an extra $60 billion per year to add in a battery storage system.
If we assume $50,000 per job for constructing the electric grid, each year we could employ 500,000 people. If we assume $100,000 per job for building batteries, since high tech jobs require higher salaries, then we could have 600,000 jobs per year manufacturing batteries. Therefore, building an Interstate Smart Electric Grid could generate 110,000 total jobs per year. If manufacturing is about 25%, we can estimate that about 250,000 manufacturing jobs would be created.