Power generation is the source of 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Over the next two decades, the U.S. will invest two trillion dollars to replace our aging, inefficient electricity infrastructure — but there is no guarantee that this investment will move ahead in ways that maximize environmental benefit and secure the clean, low-carbon energy system we need to avoid a climate catastrophe. Indeed, a recent International Energy Agency report warns that "without a bold change of policy direction [in the next five years], the world will lock itself into an insecure, inefficient and high-carbon energy system."
Decisions being made now on energy and infrastructure investments will make — or break — the path to climate stability, meaning we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity right now to revolutionize how we generate, distribute and use electricity.
This award will help us ensure that the smart grid will also be a green grid, one that increases efficiencies across the entire system, is open to innovation and new market entrants and intelligent enough to enable far greater penetration of clean energy and electric vehicles in the U.S., and ultimately throughout the world. It will also accelerate our work in energy efficiency to create a vibrant market for energy savings by tearing down barriers to private capital investment and showing companies how they can improve their bottom line by reducing energy waste.