Focal Areas

Future of the Electricity Sector


The electricity sector is in a period of rapid change driven by a host of economic and regulatory factors—including historically low natural gas prices, dramatic reductions in the cost of renewable energy, and new and evolving environmental regulations. As a result, the sector is simultaneously grappling with coal plant retirements; the possibility of upcoming nuclear plant retirements; increased exposure to natural gas price volatility; maintaining diversity in the generation mix; integrating intermittent and distributed resources; and complying with a host of environmental rules. Responses to these dynamics will affect carbon dioxide emissions, public health, and energy prices for years to come. Work by the Nicholas Institute focuses on how the legal and regulatory landscape governing the electricity sector must adapt to this dynamic environment and how investments made to respond to these changes will influence environmental and economic outcomes in 2050.