CLOSUP Lecture Series
The U.S. is in the midst of an energy transition. This path toward decarbonization of the energy sector promises many societal benefits such as reduced greenhouse gas emissions, technological innovation, and reduced air pollution. The costs of this transition such as price spikes or job displacement, however, are not evenly spread across the population, since some individuals and communities are more vulnerable to the adverse impacts than others. In this presentation, I will introduce a framework for conceptualizing vulnerability and then provide an illustration of its potential application using the case of the renewable portfolio standard. I will also present findings from interviews and focus groups with individuals that reside or work within more vulnerable populations. These findings provide insights about the manner in which communities perceive of the energy transition, and how they cope with changes introduced by the transition.