Energy Policy Now

Energy Policy Now

Energy Policy Now offers clear talk on the policy issues that define our relationship to energy and its impact on society and the environment. The series is produced by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania and hosted by energy journalist Andy Stone. Join Andy in conversation with leaders from industry, government, and academia as they shed light on today's pressing energy policy debates.

Episodes

June 14, 2021 42 min

Congress has directed the nation’s regulator for natural gas and electricity infrastructure to be more responsive to community and environmental concerns. Will FERC’s new Office of Public Participation deliver on the promise of public inclusion?

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission increasingly finds itself at the center of controversy as momentum in the United States builds for a cleaner and more sustainable energy system. 

A...

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Heidi Binko, Executive Director of the Just Transition Fund, discusses the challenges coal communities face in adapting to a post-coal future, and strategies for economic transition.

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Over the past decade the number of workers directly employed in the U.S. coal industry has fallen by half, as coal has been replaced by cheaper sources of energy such as natural gas and renewable power. From the Appalachian mountains in the East, to ...

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Sheila Oparaocha of the International Network on Gender and Sustainability discusses the global effort to ensure gender equality in energy access, as an essential foundation for economic development and public health. 

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One billion people around the world lack access to electricity, and three times as many do not have access to fuel and appliances that allow for clean and safe cooking inside the home. The lack of clean and reliab...

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Nature-based climate solutions can play a major role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. But biodiversity risks, and community impacts, loom large.

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Technology often seems to be the focus when conversation turns to solutions to address climate change. Clean energy, carbon capture and even geoengineering dominate headlines and attract the attention of climate-focused investors. When it comes to protecting coastal communiti...

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April 19, 2021 36 min

One-third of American households struggle to afford basic energy needs. The University of Michigan’s Tony Reames explores the role of policy in overcoming energy poverty.
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Energy justice and poverty have come to the forefront of public dialogue, and are part of long-standing inequities that continue to persist in the United States. In this country, one-third of households struggle pay for their basic energy needs. In response, fed...

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President Biden will rely upon regulatory agencies like the EPA to push his ambitious clean energy and climate agenda. Yet increasingly conservative courts could stand in the way of Biden’s plans.
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President Joe Biden has set an ambitious clean energy and environmental agenda that includes a $2 trillion infrastructure and climate plan, and a renewed commitment to the Paris Climate agreement. To achieve his climate goals, Biden is ...

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March 22, 2021 68 min

Carbon Dioxide Removal is an industrial-scale strategy to hold climate change in check. Five experts weigh in on CDR’s potential, challenges and moral hazards.

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The global effort to slow the pace of climate change will require that two basic strategies be implemented on a massive scale. The first strategy is well known, and involves shifting away from today’s fossil-fuel dependent energy system, and toward a future where nearly ev...

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Corporate renewable energy deals equaled a quarter of total U.S. electric power additions in 2020. The Renewable Energy Buyer’s Alliance talks policies to accelerate clean energy purchasing.

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Corporate America’s appetite for renewable energy is booming. In 2020, large businesses signed deals for over 10 GW of new clean generation, equal to a quarter of the total electric power capacity added in the United States for the year. The...

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The U.S. forfeited leadership in the global effort to combat climate change when it left the Paris Agreement. Now back, will the U.S. resume its former role?

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On Friday, February the 19th, the United States officially rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, bringing to an end an extended period of national disengagement from the global effort to address climate change. As the largest historic emitter of greenhouse gasses, and today’...

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New research disproves the assumption that exposure to climate-related natural disasters motivates people to support climate policy.   

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A common assumption is that direct exposure to climate-related disasters such as severe wildfires and flooding motivates people to support policy to address climate change. Yet new research proves that this assumption doesn’t hold up in reality.

Matto Mildenberger, assistant professor of political...

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New Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen has been tasked with combating climate change.  What climate action is the Treasury likely to take under her leadership?
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Joe Biden has made the fight against climate change a focus of his new administration. Consistent with that focus is his appointment of Janet Yellen, a former Federal Reserve chairman and an advocate for climate action, to the role of Secretary of the Treasury.

The Treasury De...

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Hydrogen energy is a key part of Europe’s plan to zero out carbon emissions by mid-century. But can the bloc build hydrogen capacity, and demand, in time to reach its goal?

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In August the European Commission introduced its strategy to aggressively expand the market for hydrogen energy as part of its plan to go carbon neutral by the year 2050. The plan envisions using green hydrogen, produced mainly with wind and solar power, as an...

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December 15, 2020 40 min

Electricity storage technologies have proven their worth in balancing daily fluctuations in wind and solar power output. But can storage address the challenges presented by the decarbonized grid of the future?
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President-Elect Joe Biden’s clean energy plan aims to make America’s electricity system carbon neutral by the year 2035. To reach its goal, the plan will seek to develop the nation’s clean energy infrastructure, and expand ...

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Georgia’s runoff election will determine the balance of power in the Senate, and the degree to which Joe Biden will count on Congress to back his ambitious clean energy agenda.
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On January 5th a special runoff election in the state of Georgia will determine who will fill the state’s two seats in the United States Senate and which political party, Republican or Democrat, will control the upper chamber of Congress. The runoff electi...

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Large scale offshore wind development will require a rethink of how America’s electric grid is designed, and paid for. 
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Over the coming decade, a number of states along the East Coast of the U.S. will deploy massive offshore windfarms in the Atlantic Ocean as part of their efforts to meet clean energy goals and reduce global warming emissions. Planning for the wind farms is well underway, and the first projects sponsored by New Y...

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Electricity market deregulation promised to bring more affordable and reliable electricity to consumers. A quarter of a century after deregulation began, has its promise delivered for all Americans?

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The process of deregulating electricity markets began a quarter of a century ago, with the aim of leveraging competitive market forces to provide consumers with abundant and reliable electricity more economically than ever before. As ...

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In September the U.S. electricity regulator, the FERC, held its first conference to explore carbon pricing in the nation’s electricity markets. Is a carbon price finally on the way?

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In late September the regulator of America’s electricity markets, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, took the unusual step of convening a conference at which it, and members of the electricity industry, considered putting a price on carbon diox...

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Outmoded and often discriminatory zoning laws block clean energy development in low-income urban neighborhoods. An effort is underway to update rules, and enable clean energy equity.

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An energy transformation is underway in the United States, with clean energy and energy efficiency reducing our dependency on fossil fuels. Yet the advantages of clean energy aren’t enjoyed equally throughout the country. Clean energy development has...

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An environmental lawyer examines the legal and social challenges that could complicate managed retreat from areas at risk to climate-related disaster.
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When policymakers talk about adapting to climate change, they often focus on measures to reinforce towns and cities against natural disasters, such as the wildfires and flooding that have become more severe across the United States in recent years. Yet what is often more difficult ...

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August 3, 2020 48 min

Much attention has been paid to the ways we humans are changing our climate. Yet, how has an ever-evolving climate changed us? 
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Climate change is one of the monumental challenges of our day, but the reality of climate change is nothing new. In recent decades, scientific advances have expanded our understanding of prehistory, and brought into ever sharper focus the connection between historic variations in climate and the developm...

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