Governing the Grid: Decarbonization, Energy Security & Climate Adaptation for the 21st Century

May 4, 2021 12:00 pm — 1:30 pm
Webinar Only

An ELI Member Webinar

The potential vulnerability of energy grids was laid bare this February, when millions were left without power for days due to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) power outages. ERCOT is one of three energy grids in the US, whose conception resulted in Texas as an “electrical island,” uniquely separated from energy supplies in other states. This failure to provide energy security during extreme winter weather may have resulted in over 100 lives lost with an estimated $195 billion in damages, highlighting the crucial importance of improved energy grid governance.

Tasked with adapting to the reality of climate change while maintaining energy security, the ERCOT outages highlight how those responsible for governing the grid will face formidable challenges in the years to come. Already, visible impacts of climate change, such as unprecedented winter storms, underscore the need to integrate climate change adaptation as a principal factor in energy security. With appropriate weatherization and increased battery storage, many experts state that renewables can help assure an energy-secure future, more resilient to the impacts of climate change. The question remains, however, how can regulators ensure that this urgent need for weatherization of energy infrastructure and increase of the storage capacity is met? What other policies must be implemented to transform the energy sector and generate a more resilient system?

Join the Environmental Law Institute and expert panelists for an in-depth exploration of how to ensure energy grids are fit for the unique emerging challenges of this century. Leading panelists will illuminate how energy law and policy must navigate these complex and intersecting governance imperatives highlighted by the ERCOT outages.

Kathryn Penry, Associate, Bracewell LLP Moderator
Eric Christensen, Of Counsel, Beveridge & Diamond PC
Shalaya Morissette, Lead Program Manager, National Grid, and President, Greater Boston Chapter, American Association of Blacks in Energy (AABE)
Doug Vine, Director of Energy Analysis, Center for Climate and Energy Solutions

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