The Polar Vortex of February 2021 caused enduring blackouts throughout Texas and disruptions to electricity grids across multiple states – yet another devastating example of how extreme weather combined with poor grid planning in the face of climate change is costing lives and wreaking havoc on communities. Increasingly frequent climate change-fueled events are creating new threats to our power system just as more homes and vehicles plug into the grid in the move to electrify everything and reduce climate pollution.
Climate change adaptation requires prioritizing resilience in our homes, communities, and the grid to reduce the financial and human costs of its impacts. Beyond efforts to harden grid infrastructure and properly weatherize our buildings, clean technologies like electric appliances and vehicles, demand response, distributed solar, and energy storage can build a stronger grid.
This episode of Electrify This! explores urgent questions facing climate resilience in the electrified future including: What exactly is resilience, and how can we make it a priority? How can communities and individual households be make themselves more resilient as they electrify? And what’s really needed to support collective and equitable climate resilience in the clean, electrified energy future?
- Karl Rábago, Principal with Rábago Energy, LLC. Karl is a nationally recognized leader and innovator in electricity and energy law, policy, and regulation. Karl has over thirty years of energy-related experience, serving as the Executive Director of the Pace Energy and Climate Center, Vice President for Distributed Energy Services for Austin Energy, Public Utility Commissioner of Texas, Principal at Rocky Mountain Institute, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy, and Assistant Law Professor for the U.S. Military Academy. Karl holds degrees from Pace University School of Law, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, University of Texas School of Law, and Texas A&M University.
- Jonathon Monken, Principal at Converge Strategies, LLC, a consulting company focusing on the intersection of clean energy, resilience, and national security. Jonathon brings 18 years of experience working with state and local governments, private sector, and military partners to develop solutions around the advancement of whole community security and resilience. Jonathon previously served as the Senior Director of System Resilience and Strategic Coordination for PJM Interconnection and the Director of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency. He is a Major in the U.S. Army and holds an MBA from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Science from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.
To Dig in Deeper, Check out these Must-Read Resources:
- Why Local Solar for All Costs Less: A New Roadmap for the Lowest Cost Grid (Local Solar for All Coalition, December 2020)
- The Value of Resilience for Distributed Energy Resources (Converge Strategies for the National Association of Regulatory Public Utilities Commissioners, November 2019)
- Reimagining Grid Resilience in the Energy Transition (Rocky Mountain Institute, July 2020)
- Electrification for Climate Resiliency (Sierra Club, October 2019)