WEI | Power After Carbon: Building a Clean, Resilient Grid

  • Starts: 8:15 am on Monday, September 14, 2020
  • Ends: 9:00 am on Monday, September 14, 2020

Western Energy Institute Annual Meeting

As the dangerous and costly impacts of climate change increase, the rapid development of sustainable energy has taken on great urgency. The electricity industry has responded with necessary but wrenching shifts toward renewables, even as it faces unprecedented challenges and disruption brought on by new technologies, new competitors, and policy changes. The result is a collision course between a grid that must provide abundant, secure, flexible, and affordable power, and an industry facing enormous demands for power and rapid, systemic change. The fashionable solution is to think small: smart buildings, small-scale renewables, and locally distributed green energy.

Peter Fox-Penner makes clear that these solutions, while a vital and valuable part of the equation, will not be enough to meet our increasing needs for clean energy. In addition to distributed power, we will need much stronger energy efficiency policies as well as large power systems, battery storage, and scalable carbon-free power technologies, along with the grids and markets that will integrate them. The electric power industry and its regulators will have to provide all of these, even as they grapple with changing business models for local electric utilities, political instability, and technological change. Additionally, natural gas companies are facing dramatic threats and changes as they look to adapt their role in the new energy future. Success will rely on new innovations and strategies to embrace emerging opportunities like renewable natural gas and hydrogen.


Peter Fox-Penner

Founder and Director

Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy

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