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The Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University is pleased to announce that it has awarded funding to seven research projects for Fiscal Year 2020–2021 through the Catalyst Program.

In a new policy brief, Duke University's Energy Access Project, in collaboration with the Energy Access team at CrossBoundary Group, looked at the experiences of seven countries that have made great strides in bringing electricity to their rural populations: Brazil, Chile, Laos, Peru, South Africa, Thailand, and Tunisia. Despite widely different circumstances and initial electrification rates, there are important similarities.

Eight former FERC commissioners submitted a “friend of the court” brief to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to offer their energy expertise to the Court in a challenge to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s latest power sector carbon rule. The brief was written and filed by Kate Konschnik.

Approaching the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, Tim Profeta, director of the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, joined WFAE's Charlotte Talks program to discuss how the political conversation around the environment has changed over time in the United States and the environment's place as an issue in the 2020 election.

Congress is considering additional stimulus measures to address the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. A state green bank, funded by a National Climate Bank in a future stimulus package, could help put North Carolinians back to work building a clean energy future, write the Nicholas Institute's Jennifer Weiss and Coalition for Green Capital's Jeffrey Schub in Southeast Energy News.

As COVID-19 keeps them physically apart, Nicholas Institute employees are staying connected on video gatherings, where they exchange recipes and workout video suggestions and introduce family and pets.

A new policy brief from the Nicholas Institute says a large Southeast power market would be the best hope for creating greater competition, lowering prices and encouraging cleaner energy production as the Carolinas look for alternative regulatory structures for their power utilities, reports the Charlotte Business Journal.

Technologies like geospatial imagery, machine learning and affordable batteries are generating ever more innovative ways to target customers with off-grid energy solutions. But according to analysts at the Duke University Energy Access Project, public policy is struggling to keep up with these rapid-fire developments, leaving vast amounts of human capacity and productivity untapped.

A commentary in The Daily Yonder reviewed the Nicholas Institute's recent report, “Understanding Rural Attitudes Toward the Environment and Conservation in America,” and its implications for the divide between rural and urban Americans on environmental policy.

Duke University's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity co-hosted a conference on March 3 that focused on different approaches for carbon pricing in wholesale energy markets.