November 19, 2020 - 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM Eastern Time (ET)

Grid Reliability in a Carbon-Constrained World

Event Description:

Due to their intermittency, renewable energy resources such as wind and solar power have always raised questions about their effects on the reliability of electricity grids. As the share of such resources in the electricity mix continues to grow at a rapid pace, with legislative mandates calling for further acceleration over the next decade, these questions have acquired increased urgency. Some early commentators have blamed a recent series of rotating power outages in California to the high penetration levels of variable renewable energy sources, although subsequent analysis suggests more nuanced factors are to blame. In this webinar, organized in collaboration with the MIT Energy Initiative Electric Power Systems Low Carbon Center, two experts on electricity systems and market design will address the impacts of power sector decarbonization on grid reliability.


Alex Breckel
Energy Futures Initiative

Alex Breckel is the Associate Director of Strategic Research at Energy Futures Initiative (EFI) where he contributes project portfolio strategy, management, and research oversight. His research and analysis focus on technology deployment pathways, energy market transformations, and policy and regulatory frameworks for clean energy transitions. For seven years he has provided clients and the federal government strategic advice and policy formulation grounded in modeling, analysis, and energy stakeholder dialogue. Breckel’s domains of expertise include power market design, regulatory finance, infrastructure resilience, and economics.
Frank Wolak

Frank A. Wolak is the Holbrook Working Professor of Commodity Price Studies in the Department of Economics at Stanford University. His fields of specialization are Energy and Environmental Economics, Regulatory Economics, and Econometric Theory. His recent work focuses on the design of market and regulatory mechanisms to support the transition to a low carbon energy sector. He also studies methods for introducing competition into infrastructure industries — telecommunications, electricity, water delivery and postal delivery services — and on assessing the impacts of these competition policies on consumer and producer welfare.
Moderated by:
Richard Schmalensee

Richard Schmalensee served as the John C Head III Dean of the MIT Sloan School of Management from 1998 through 2007. He was a member of the President’s Council of Economic Advisers from 1989 through 1991 and served for 12 years as Director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research. Professor Schmalensee is the author or coauthor of 11 books and more than 120 published articles, and he is co-editor of volumes 1 and 2 of the Handbook of Industrial Organization. His research has centered on industrial organization economics and its application to managerial and public policy issues, with particular emphasis on antitrust, regulatory, energy, and environmental policies. He has served as a consultant to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and numerous private corporations.