A Decade of Transformation: Energy Justice (Text Version)

This is the text version of the video A Decade of Transformation: Energy Justice.

Kate Anderson, Energy Systems Integration chief of staff, NREL: In order to actually achieve the clean energy transition we want to see, it's not enough just to reach the wealthy people or the first adopters. You really need to reach everybody

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Text on screen: A Decade of Transformation: Energy Justice

Kate Anderson: Traditionally, we have looked for the most cost-effective ways to do things, which has not always been the most equitable ways to do things. Sometimes, we site generation plants in underserved communities, and the beneficiaries of those generation plants may be, you know, miles away.

Jaquelin Cochran, director of Grid Planning and Analysis Center, NREL: What's most critical for our research is not assuming that everybody is alike. We can help think about the power system planning from different perspectives because the energy infrastructure is different, the energy impacts are different, the access to the equipment and technologies can vary.

Kate Anderson: When we think about the most important questions we're addressing, I really bucket it into three areas. First is on our research. I mean, this is the core of what NREL does, and we really want to figure out how we can embed concepts of equity in all of our research. The second piece is how we think about embedding equity in our decision tools, and our models, and in our data. And then the third piece is really partnering with communities. So how do we ensure that in all the work we do, we make sure that we are partnering with underserved communities that can benefit from our research?

Jaquelin Cochran: One of the the biggest challenges of doing research on concepts like energy equity is not having a uniform definition or understanding of what equity means. What is an equitable outcome?

Kate Anderson: I think we've seen, you know, in our studies over the past 10 years, that technically we can get to 90 or 95% renewable energy right now, but I think the gap between what is technically and economically possible and where we actually are today really comes down to these social issues.

Text on screen: Learn more about NREL's RE Futures Study at bit.ly/REFutures.