In order to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the United States has to both build massive amounts of wind, solar, and battery capacity, and simultaneously retire and retrofit significant fossil fuel assets. Understanding the impacts of this transition on communities across the country will be key to ensuring a just, equitable, and successful transition to zero-carbon energy resources.
The Center on Global Energy Policy hosted a webinar on how the United States can decarbonize its energy sector justly and equitably. Dr. Jesse Jenkins and Dr. Erin Mayfield provided an overview of Princeton's Net-Zero America Project, which maps pathways for the United States to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Key questions in this discussion will include: What will it take for the United States to build a net-zero emissions energy system? Why is a 100% carbon-free electricity system pivotal to this challenge? What role do technologies like wind, solar, batteries, nuclear, and carbon capture play in this future?
While decarbonization will require vast investment in new infrastructure, it will also require the retirement of carbon-intensive power plants. Understanding the timeframes, social implications, and costs of retiring these assets will be essential to a just transition. To help understand some of these issues, Dr. Emily Grubert spoke about her recent work on the implications of a 2035 net-zero emissions target on retirements of fossil fuel power plants in the US.
- Jason Bordoff, Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy and Professor of Professional Practice in International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
- Dr. Emily Grubert, Assistant Professor, Georgia Tech
- Dr. Jesse Jenkins, Assistant Professor, Princeton University
- Dr. Erin Mayfield, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University