Global Investments in Public Grid Digitalization and Transmission Network Expansion Must Exceed US$4 Trillion by 2030 to Meet Clean Energy Targets

10 Jul 2024

Public grid capacity constraints risk slowing the energy transition toward net zero, with fast-growing distributed renewable energy assets such as solar micro-grids and battery storage increasingly failing to connect to the grid, needed to take full advantage of unpredictable renewable generation. According to a new report from global technology intelligence firm ABI Research, aggregated global investments in public grid digitalization and transmission network capacity expansion will need to reach over US$4 trillion by 2030 to maintain the energy transition toward net-zero energy targets.

“To maintain the integration of exploding renewable energy capacity, public grids need to be expanded urgently in terms of adding huge amounts of sheer transmission capacity (think cabling and substations) but also modernized in terms of both far-reaching digitalization and a more decentralized energy network topology,” explains Dominique Bonte, VP End Markets and Verticals at ABI Research.

According to a recent announcement from the International Energy Agency (IEA), global spending on grids is expected to reach US$400 billion in 2024, showing systematic growth compared to flat yearly investments of around US$300 billion pre-COVID-19. However, grid investments will need to accelerate significantly in the coming years to reach the targets mentioned above, requiring new funding mechanisms and more flexible regulation.

A growing share of public grid investments is allocated to digitalization, which is critical for enabling addressing demand-response fluctuations and flexibly redirecting energy from where it is generated to where it is needed, in other words making energy networks more agile. Grid digitalization solutions offered by key smart energy technology vendors such as Siemens, Schneider Electric, and GE Vernova include transmission and distribution automation, networking and communications, analytics for asset performance and quality management, and advanced distribution and energy management systems. Energy digital twins will be critical for improved cooperative network planning and optimization.

“A good example of the severity of the impact of public grid constraints on the digital economy is the limitations imposed on the deployment of new data centers in cities like Frankfurt, which is failing to expand its energy network fast enough to accommodate exploding IT infrastructure, mainly driven by power-hungry AI computing. This risks slowing down much-needed data center capacity expansion and endangering net-zero targets of hyperscalers such as Google, AWS, and Microsoft,” Bonte concludes.

These findings are from ABI Research’s Will Public Grids Become the Bottleneck for the Adoption of Industrial Microgrids, Electrification, and Reaching Net-Zero Targets? application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Smart Energy for Enterprises and Industries research service, which includes research, data, and ABI Insights. 

About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm uniquely positioned at the intersection of technology solution providers and end-market companies. We serve as the bridge that seamlessly connects these two segments by providing exclusive research and expert guidance to drive successful technology implementations and deliver strategies proven to attract and retain customers.

ABI Research 是一家全球性的技术情报公司,拥有得天独厚的优势,充当终端市场公司和技术解决方案提供商之间的桥梁,通过提供独家研究和专业性指导,推动成功的技术实施和提供经证明可吸引和留住客户的战略,无缝连接这两大主体。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Research

Related Service