By Robert Adams
The decarbonization revolution is well underway. Despite the continuing debates about the threat of global warming, the signs of behavior change are all around us. Most car manufacturers now produce an electric model. Charging stations dot highway rest stops and store parking lots. Wind and solar farms are ubiquitous features on urban and rural landscapes. The signs highlight the new economic activity and opportunities the emerging green economy generates. All the recent economic activity could potentially expand the inclusive participation of women, communities of color, the formerly incarcerated, and other underrepresented groups in well-paying jobs and occupations. If we properly execute the shift from fossil fuels, America could harvest a “diversity dividend.” Diversity Month is ideal for examining the relationship between decarbonization and a more diverse labor future.
“Electrify everything,” the mantra of the decarbonization revolution, characterizes a two-prong strategy aimed at reconfiguring energy supply and demand. “Electrify everything” means building more clean power generation facilities, long-distance transmission lines, and local distribution wires to increase the generation and distribution of clean energy. On the supply side, “electrify everything” focuses on increased clean energy generation from solar, wind, and hydro sources instead of fossil fuels. Plans call for the doubling of solar and wind energy production. Saul Griffith, Sam Calisch, and Alex Laskey predict the move to “electrify everything” will triple or quadruple electricity generation, increasing the current output of 450GW to 1,500-2,000GW. There is a rush to build the infrastructure needed to supply clean energy.
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