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The Big Switch

Jun 30, 2021

Matching electricity supply and demand is a high-wire balancing act. As we add more solar, wind and batteries, and shut down thermal generation, it shifts the balance. New kinds of distributed resources can help to balance things out -- but they also make grid management more complex.

In our fourth episode of season 1,

Jun 24, 2021

If the grid system is the backbone of a low-carbon economy, then transmission lines are the nervous system.

We need a dramatic build-out of the transmission system to connect renewable energy to the places that need it, while managing a wider range of local resources. How do we build it quickly, cheaply, and in a...

Jun 15, 2021

Building a low-carbon grid is like building a sports team with star players and supporting players. Or, more accurately, it’s like re-building a sports team, where you have to go from underdogs to world champs. 

First, you have to retire the under-performers like coal. Then, you have to grow your star players —...

Jun 15, 2021

The electric grid is the vast machine that powers everything around us. It’s also the part of the energy system where we're seeing the most dramatic changes as we address climate change.

So what are the stakes, solutions and tradeoffs as we move to a net-zero energy system?

In our first episode of season 1, Dr....

Jun 4, 2021

Welcome to our first season of "The Big Switch." It's a five-part series that explores how the power grid works, how it's changing, and how those changes can benefit society.

Your host is Dr. Melissa Lott of Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy.

To slow climate change, we need to transform our buildings,...