Electrify This!

By Sara Baldwin, Energy Innovation, LLC

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Electrify This! explores the movement to electrify everything as a core strategy to decarbonize and revitalize all sectors of our economy. Featuring diverse experts, the show examines the most important policy, regulatory, and market issues surrounding electrification of transportation, buildings, and industry. Electrify This! helps demystify issues surrounding the transition to 100 percent clean electricity, and focuses on the challenges, scalable solutions, and what decision-makers can do to ensure the movement to electrify is equitable for all. Electrify This! is an Energy Innovation original podcast and is hosted by Electrification Policy Director, Sara Baldwin (former host of Grid Geeks podcast).

Episode Date
Accelerating Clean, Electrified Transportation by 2035, Part 1 (of 3)
3257

April 2021 was a milestone month of for clean energy, climate, and electrification: The Biden administration unveiled the American Jobs Plan, convened a Leaders Summit on Climate, and announced the U.S. climate goal to reduce our climate emissions 50 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Because decarbonizing the transportation sector is necessary to achieve these goals, the Department of Transportation, Department of Energy, and General Services Administration announced new programs and funding to rapidly scale deployment of EVs and charging infrastructure nationwide. 

Bolstering these efforts, two landmark transportation electrification reports hit the streets – the 2035 2.0 report series, released by a team from the University of California, Berkeley, GridLab, and Energy Innovation, show what it really means to achieve 100 percent EV Sales by 2035. In the first of our three part series on transportation electrification, host Sara Baldwin discusses the report’s findings with the two of the co-authors, and why widespread accelerated transportation electrification would bring major benefits to consumers, the economy, and the climate.

Guests: 

Dr. Nikit Abhyankar, Senior Scientist at the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley & Scientist with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He regularly advises national and state governments, regulators, and utilities in multiple countries on designing clean energy policies and programs. Nikit has conducted extensive research and policy analysis on renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric vehicles, and energy access. Nikit holds a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from Stanford University.

Taylor McNair is the Program Manager at GridLab, where he is responsible for the coordination, management, and execution of GridLab’s technical projects. Taylor works with GridLab’s team of experts to provide comprehensive technical grid expertise to policymakers and advocates. Prior to GridLab, Taylor worked at Bright Power Inc., a leading provider of energy management services throughout the U.S. Taylor graduated from Emory University with a BBA from the Goizueta Business School and a double major in Environmental Sciences. 

To Dig in Deeper, Check out these Must-Read Resources: 

Apr 29, 2021
Climate Resilience in the Electrified Future
3412

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. 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? 

Guests:
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, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy, and Assistant Law Professor for the US military Academy. He holds degrees from Pace University School of Law, the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s School, University of Texas Schoool 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 state and local governments, private sector, and military partners to develop solutions around the advancement of whole community security and resilience. He 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 B.S. from the United States Military Academy at West Point.  

To Dig in Deeper, Check out these Must-Read Resources: 

Register for VERGE Electrify, a complimentary online event (May 25-26, 2021) that convenes leaders to  catalyze the electrify-everything movement.  Register here: http://bit.ly/3sodlnh  

Mar 25, 2021
Accelerating Equitable Transportation Electrification
4025

Electric vehicles have driven onto the front page of news from GM’s announcement to exclusively offer EVs by 2035, President Biden’s Executive Order calling for an all-electric federal fleet by 2035, and a handful of U.S. states and other countries announcing plans to phase out gas-powered vehicle sales on or before 2035. But even with more than 1 million EVs on U.S. roads, the transportation sector is our largest source of climate pollution, responsible for nearly a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Nearly half of all Americans live in counties with unhealthy ozone and particle pollution, and more than 20,000 die prematurely every year from transportation pollutants. Children, the elderly, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions are especially vulnerable. Communities of color continue to bear a disproportionate burden from traffic-related pollution. As the grid decarbonizes, transportation electrification offers a win-win solution for climate, consumers, equity, and health. Electrify This! explores how to address clean transportation transition challenges, expand electric mobility options in an equitable way, and shift clean transportation into high gear.

Guests: 

  • Shruti Vaidyanathan, Transportation Program Director, ACEEE. With 13 years’ experience in transportation efficiency issues, Shruti  oversees transportation research and state policies to further transportation electrification. Shruti holds a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University and a B.A. from Grinnell College. 
  • Alvaro Sanchez, Environmental Equity Director, The Greenlining Institute where he leads a team that develops policies to improve public health, catalyze economic opportunity, and enrich environmental quality for low-income communities and communities of color.  Alvaro holds a Master of Planning degree from the University of Southern California. 
  • Pallavi Madakasira, Director, Clean Energy Sector, New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) where she helps shape and lead efforts to ensure the state’s long-term competitiveness in the clean energy sector, overseeing grant programs and the development of initiatives to create green jobs. Pallavi holds a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Related Links: 

Greenlining Institute: California Must Prioritize Transportation Equity & A Community of Practice for Equitable Electric Mobility 

ACEEE: ACEEE State Transportation Electrification Scorecard 

NJEDA: New Jersey Economic Development Authority 

Feb 23, 2021
Industrial Electrification: Unlocking Deep Decarbonization with the Power of the Grid
2980

What did you stock up on in 2020? Toilet paper? Cleaning products? Furniture for your permanent staycation? We rarely consider the energy needed to make all those products, but from those we use daily to the steel and concrete that build our world, nearly everything in our economy comes from industrial processes. And those industrial processes use a lot of energy, and – at least for now – rely in large part on fossil fuels. America’s industrial sector was responsible for more than a third of national emissions in 2019, and that trend will only grow as our economy recovers. Achieving a net-zero future requires decarbonizing the industrial sector, but how do we solve such a large challenge? On the latest Electrify This! episode, host Sara Baldwin speaks with experts unlocking industry electrification to explore what it will take to decarbonize industry, which policies can help accelerate deployment of electric technologies, how the Biden Administration and Congress can revitalize American industry, and whichindustries stand to benefit! 

Guests: 

Ali Hasanbeigi, Ph.D., is the Founder, CEO, and Research Director at Global Efficiency Intelligence (GEI), an energy and climate change mitigation consulting firm based in Florida. Dr. Hasanbeigi has over 15 years of international experience working on industrial energy efficiency and decarbonization of the manufacturing sector. Prior to founding GEI, he worked for over seven years as a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. He is the lead author of the forthcoming report titled "Electrification of U.S. Manufacturing."

Edward Rightor, Ph.D., is the Director of the Industrial Program with the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (or ACEEE). In this role, Dr. Rightor develops and leads the strategic vision for the industrial sector, shapes the research and policy agenda, and convenes stakeholders. He has also held several leadership roles at Dow Chemical during his 31-year career, serving as the director of strategic projects in Dow’s Environmental Technology Center and the facilitator of Dow’s Corporate Water Strategy Team. Working across global industrial associations, he spearheaded a roadmap for the chemical industry on paths to reduce energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. He is an author of numerous reports, including the most recent ACEEE report, “Beneficial Electrification in Industry.” 

To Dig in Deeper, Check out these Must-Read Resources: 



 

Jan 25, 2021
All I Want for the Holidays Is an All-Electric Home
3500

It’s holiday time after a hard year. More than ever, the need for healthy homes is exceedingly clear. It’s true what they say and true what you hear: Nearly 90 million households burn fossil fuels on site, and that’s just not right! Greenhouse gases and harmful pollutants make our stoves, heaters and dryers quite a nuisance! Our climate and health are taking a hit - we’ve got to quit. Entrenched fossil interests and weak building codes keeping us hooked on fuels is complicity – the Grinches don’t want our homes to run on clean electricity. 

But fear not, dear podcasters, we’ve good news to share! A movement afoot is up to the fight to clean up our appliances and make homes just right. Electrify This! will show you what’s in store. Three building experts will share their tomes: how to build better buildings and healthier homes. Who are these Who’s from Whoville leading the way? And how will they save the day? You’ll have to tune in – we won’t give it away!

This holiday-themed episode of Electrify This! looks at how our homes and buildings impact climate and public health, and what can be done to shift the building sector away from fossil fuels: building and energy codes; policies; market forces, consumer decisions, and more. And we’ll share handy home electrification tips and electrifying holiday gift ideas.  

Guests:

·      Panama Bartholomy, Director, Building Decarbonization Coalition 

·      Sean Armstrong, Managing Principal, Redwood Energy

·      Kim Cheslak, Associate Director, New Buildings Institute  

Related Links: 

·      https://newbuildings.org  and NBI’s Carbon Neutral Codes webinar (1/28/20, 1-2 EST)

·      https://www.buildingdecarb.org

·      https://redwoodenergy.net  

 

Dec 15, 2020
Plugging In to the Electrification Movement
3490

In the inaugural episode of Electrify This!, host Sara Baldwin speaks with three experts to explore the burgeoning movement to electrify everything as a core strategy to decarbonize all sectors of our economy. Guests will highlight the most important policy, regulatory, and market issues surrounding electrification of transportation and buildings, point out what leading states are doing right, and provide insight into opportunities for expanded electrification under a new Administration. We’ll also talk about what decision-makers can do to ensure the movement to electrify is equitable for all. Want to know what “beneficial electrification” means? Plug in to find out!  Electrify This! is an Energy Innovation original podcast. 

Guests: 

  • Rose McKinney-James, Managing Principal of Energy Works LLC and McKinney-James and Associates, and a former Commissioner with the Nevada Public Service Commission; 
  • Sue Gander, Managing Director of Electric Vehicle Policy with the Electrification Coalition and former Director of the Energy, Infrastructure and Environment Division with the National Governors’ Association; 
  • Mike Henchen, Principal of Building Electrification with the Rocky Mountain Institute and a former US Navy Officer.

Links/Resources: 

Nov 17, 2020
Introducing...Electrify This! - An Energy Innovation Podcast on Electrification for Decarbonization
249

Introduction Electrify This!  - a new podcast devoted to the theme of electrification for decarbonization. Electrify This! features electrification experts from around the world who are advancing the transition of all sectors of our economy to 100 percent clean electricity. Hosted by Electrification Policy Director, Sara Baldwin, the show will explore the policy, regulatory, and market issues surrounding electrification of transportation, buildings, and industry, and demystifies complex issues to better understand the challenges and identify scalable solutions. 

Preventing the worst impacts of climate change requires rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions economywide. Electrification – replacing the technologies and systems that still run on fossil fuels, such as gas and oil, with alternatives that run on electricity, like electric vehicles, heat pumps, and induction stoves – is a proven way to transition away from highly polluting fuels to a clean energy economy without compromising reliability, affordability, comfort, or economic growth. 

We have the technologies and capabilities to run the electricity grid on 90 carbon-free resources (such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, energy storage, distributed energy resources, nuclear, demand response, etc.), and if we “electrify everything,” we can leverage this clean grid to drive deep emissions reductions across every sector of the economy.

Electrify This! investigates promising electrification work underway in nationally and in states and communities across the country, highlighting what policymakers, regulators, businesses, and individuals should know and do to support economy-wide electrification. 

Nov 02, 2020