Affordable housing development in Basalt, CO, U.S.A. Homeowners benefit from the very energy efficient construction, solar photovoltaic rooftop systems, and battery energy storage that allow this net-zero affordable housing complex to be a microgrid, deeply decreasing their monthly expenditures on energy services and improving their quality of life. Source: National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Of all the potential co-benefits of a low carbon energy system, one that is not necessarily assured is energy justice. If this important component is overlooked, our future energy system has the potential to exacerbate existing inequities or create new ones. But if done with intention, this can be a rare and vital opportunity to amend structures that have long inflicted damage and injustice on vulnerable communities and ecosystems around the world. In doing so, we can create a far more robust and equitable energy system, while bypassing opposition and friction to a clean energy transition.