Jessica Lovering, Rachel Slaybaugh, and Suzy Baker founded and lead Good Energy Collective, a policy research organization that is actively "building the … [Read More...] about Atomic Show #283 – The Good Energy Collective
Meredith Angwin has become an authority on the arcane topic of governing electric grids in the United States. She’s concerned and thinks others will may share her concern when they recognize there is a key missing element in grid governance.
There is no organization or individual that is responsible for making sure that electricity is generated, transmitted and delivered to customers.
Various organizations, often with competing or conflicting interests, have shared responsibility for different parts of the system that includes generators, transformers, switchyards, transmission lines, distribution lines and billing systems, but “the market” has been assigned the responsibility of supplying wholesale electricity.
And that market is not the free market, but instead is a hybrid that is governed by an ever changing stack of layered rules where many of the important decisions are made by participant groups that do not include customers or even enabled representatives of customers.
A growing portion of the grid’s electricity is dependent on free, but uncontrolled natural flows. Another portion comes from generators whose fuel is delivered by capacity-limited pipes in a “just in time fashion.” When the natural flows are interrupted or something interferes in the pipelines’s capability to deliver fuel, generators stop producing power.
There are processes that can be called into action, but costs can skyrocket in times of scarcity. Some market players thrive in times of crisis and have few incentives to ensure those crises never arise.
Meredith has produced an accessible, clearly written book that reveals important aspects of a complex topic. It deserves to be on the reading list for people who are interested in electricity.
It belongs in the library of every congressional and senatorial office. At least one person in each staff should be assigned the task of reading it and preparing a report for their member.
Governors and state level legislators might want incorporate lessons revealed in the book and reconsider their decisions to rely more heavily on markets than on well-regulated monopolies with an obligation to serve.
Meredith is a delightful guest who brings the wisdom of a long and productive professional career to her writing and speaking engagements. I’m pretty sure you are going to like this show.
As always, I invite you to participate in the discussion thread.
Jessica Lovering, Rachel Slaybaugh, and Suzy Baker founded and lead Good Energy Collective, a policy research organization that is actively “building the progressive case for nuclear energy as an essential part of the broader climate change agenda.”
Inspired by the dynamic leaders and new organizations that are successfully making the case that addressing climate change is an imperative that demands immediate action, they determined that now is the time to build coalitions and join forces with others who share similar concerns.
They recognized that nuclear energy is often left out of discussions, and they believed that needed to change. They have each been studying and working in nuclear energy fields for a decade or two and understand that it is fundamentally capable of supplying the clean, abundant, reliable and affordable energy that should be more equitably available to everyone.
But they also recognized that “nuclear” needed to look very different from the image that it currently creates when the word is spoken or written.
Not only is there a need for additional new technologies and designs that make nuclear energy accessible to broader applications and a greater diversity of customers, but methods used to talk about nuclear energy need to be improved and modified to suit current times. Old ways of doing things need to be altered in recognition of past failures, real and perceived.
Though they believe there is a continuing role for large nuclear power plants that can serve the needs of densely populated cities, they also know that the spectrum of communities and customers is so large that it demands a wide variety of solutions.
They are devising and promoting new ways of engaging with people who might eventually choose to use nuclear technology to address their energy needs. But before that happens, they have to learn, trust and accept. They want to help create situations that have better chances of success because entire communities are supportive and encouraging.
Good Energy Collective was officially launched in August 2020, but it has been busily publishing reports, stimulating discussions and developing coalitions. Its leaders do not believe there is any time to waste. They are highly motivated to make rapid changes that will enable a better story to be told about the future of nuclear energy.
Please listen carefully to these amazing women tell their story and share their plans to modernize nuclear energy products, projects and perceptions.
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