Equity and justice implications of the energy transition

The world is experiencing an energy transition. This transition is primarily marked by a shift from reliance on fossil fuels toward a more diversified portfolio of energy technologies that include advanced, efficient, and low- to no-carbon energy resources. The transition also includes changes to institutional practices and norms, number and types of entities involved in energy markets, and a reconfiguration of the roles that different actors play in energy markets.

The equity and justice implications of the energy transition are fundamentally important. The benefits and harms are not dispersed equally, with some harmed disproportionately. For example, not everyone has equal access to the job opportunities, technological innovation, and clean air that accompanies this transition.

Our research group focus

We focus on the equity and justice dimensions of the energy transition. Through our research, we offer insights on what energy justice means as it relates to the energy transition and what individuals and communities on the frontline are facing, what vulnerability means in the energy justice context, what types of programs are in place to address these issues and how well local governments in particular are responding to local vulnerability, how well certain regulatory protections can help vulnerable communities. In a recent project, we are studying how energy insecurity, one acute form of energy disparities associated with but also extending beyond the energy transition, is changing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.