Episode cover of The Zero-Carbon Backbone

The Zero-Carbon Backbone

The Big Switch

  • 06/15/2021
  • 37 min

About this Episode

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. Melissa Lott explores the intricacies of how the grid runs everything around us — and why it’s so vital to decarbonizing our economy. We’ll tell the story by visiting Texas, where the electricity system broke down in a spectacular way in February of 2020. What do the vulnerabilities and failures tell us about how we need to rebuild the grid system in a way that supports decarbonization in a highly-reliable way? Guests: Dr. Emily Grubert, Dr. Varun Rai, and Catherine Traywick. The Big Switch is produced by Columbia University's Center on Global Energy Policy in partnership with Post Script Media. Our producers are Daniel Woldorff, Dalvin Aboagye and Stephen Lacey.  A special thanks to Kirsten Smith, Genna Morton, Artealia Juilliard and Kyu Lee.