The smart grid of the future requires billions in upgrades. These stocks will benefit

Kwanchai Lerttanapunyaporn |  EyeEm | Getty Images

The U.S.' electric grid, imagined for 20th century life, is in desperate need of an overhaul as 21st century challenges wreak havoc on the industry and the customers it serves. Infrastructure is outdated, technology has evolved, and extreme weather events fueled by climate change have shown again and again the vulnerabilities of our current system.