Focal Areas

Envisioning the Future of the Electricity Sector


The U.S. electricity sector is undergoing rapid change, wrought by low natural gas prices, falling costs for renewables, and evolving environmental standards. The sector is grappling with coal and nuclear plant retirements; grid reliability and resilience; integration of intermittent and distributed resources; customer demands for clean energy; and equitable access to new technology. Regulators have the power to shape or adapt to market trends, to make the changes work for our environment and our economies. The Nicholas Institute analyzes the power sector landscape in traditionally regulated states and competitive markets, exploring policy alternatives and projecting how they will drive mid-century environmental and economic outcomes. We also host the Power Shift network with Harvard and UNC, engaging energy scholars in the conversation about the regulatory infrastructure we need to manage innovation.