Forum for Energy & Society

Dartmouth Events

Forum for Energy & Society

Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, the founding Director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy & Society, will be presenting Rules, Tools, & Joules: Electricity Systems in Transition.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Hanover Inn, Hayward Room
Intended Audience(s): Faculty
Categories: Free Food, Lectures & Seminars
Registration required.

The Fall ’17 meeting of the Forum for Energy & Society to meet and hear Dr. Elizabeth Wilson, Professor of Environmental Studies and the founding Director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society. Dr. Wilson researches how energy systems are changing in the face of new technologies and new societal pressures. Her work focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws in practice. She is interested in how institutions support and thwart energy system transitions and focuses on the interplays between technology innovation, policy creation, and institutional decision making. Prior to joining Dartmouth, Wilson was a Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota and before that she worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and also in Belgium, Burundi and Tanzania. She holds a doctorate in Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University. Her recent books include Energy Law and Policy (West Academic Publishing) (with Davies, Klass, Tomain and Osofsky) and Smart Grid (R)evolution: Electric Power Struggles (Cambridge Press) (with Stephens and Peterson). Wilson has received many honors including most recently the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship (2015).

Abstract: The rapid deployment of wind and solar technologies is reshaping how electricity systems work and changing system planning, operation and financial values. Together, policymakers, planners, and grid operators are working to integrate variable renewable resources while maintaining system reliability and affordability. These actors are innovating within and across many different organizations to achieve both regional integration and decarbonization. I will present a comparative study on innovations in renewables integration taking place in the Midwest and Western United States. This study focuses on negotiations within two regional transmission organizations and highlights the governance challenges for renewables integration. By comparing the recent California Independent System Operator (CAISO) initiative to create an energy imbalance market (EIM) and the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) negotiations necessary to develop the dispatchable intermittent resources (DIR) program, we provide a detailed examination of renewable energy policy implementation in practice. As grid operators in both systems work to improve renewable resource integration while maintaining reliability, affordability, and improving system efficiencies, this comparative study highlights the importance of policy drivers and institutional negotiations which are altering the distribution of benefits and burdens among stakeholders involved in the electric power system. In doing so, this work outlines the evolving political and institutional challenges requiring more coordination, policy innovation, and new institutional paradigms shaping electricity system governance.

For more information, contact:
Danielle Polson

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.