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Revitalizing the Grid to Achieve a Clean-Powered Economy

The Biden administration has pledged to achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2035. Meeting this goal will require not only enormous growth in U.S. clean power generation but also a significant expansion in transmission capacity to connect clean power to the grid and move it from renewable-rich areas to places where people live. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will be pivotal to facilitating this transition and the overall effort to confront climate change. Over the coming months, FERC is expected to examine or finalize a number of rule changes that could expedite grid connections for renewable sources, incentivize transmission planning, and nudge markets to procure clean power.

These actions could have long-lasting implications for U.S. carbon emissions. Yet, even as FERC policy seeks to address the looming challenge of severe climate change, it must begin to plan for the changes that have already arrived. Extreme weather events crashed the Texas and California grids earlier this year, and severe and unpredictable weather events are now expected to grow in frequency and intensity. How can federal policymakers ensure that America’s decentralized grid is prepared to withstand these shocks and continue delivering reliable, affordable electricity to customers?

Join EPIC as we host FERC Chairman Richard Glick and EPIC Non-Resident Scholar Steve Cicala for a conversation on the challenges facing the electric grid today, and the steps the Biden administration is taking—and could take—to protect and grow it. The conversation will be moderated by The Atlantic’s Rob Meyer, EPIC’s journalism fellow.

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This event is part of a series discussing timely energy and climate policy challenges with government and industry leaders, and other experts. The topics stem from the U.S. Energy & Climate Roadmap, which presents evidence-based recommendations from University of Chicago scholars to inform climate policy in the new administration and Congress.

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