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The Potential of Hybrid Clean Energy Systems to Advance Energy and Climate Justice

by guest author Marta Darby, an attorney whose practice focuses on accelerating an equitable transition to clean energy

April 2022 Research Review

Residents in disproportionately burdened communities—frequently lower-income communities of color—endure greater air, water, and soil pollution, as well as other environmental harms. Systemic barriers, including persistent structural racism, often have left such groups with fewer resources to protect themselves and to build resilience. Climate change is exacerbating these longstanding injustices, leaving historically marginalized communities even more vulnerable and more at risk for energy insecurity.

The clean energy transition presents an opportunity to work toward alleviating such harms. In particular, new research showcases how coupling existing state efforts (1) to accelerate renewable energy adoption in underserved low-income communities and (2) to replace aging gas distribution networks with district heating and cooling could amplify the benefits of such efforts. Such a holistic approach could transform overburdened communities into high energy-performance communities that are safer and more resilient.

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Published Date: 
May 11, 2022
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