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Expanding the U.S. Electric Transmission and Distribution Grid to Meet Deep Decarbonization Goals

September 2017

Citation: ELR 10749

Author: Alexandra B. Klass

This Article, excerpted from Michael B. Gerrard & John Dernbach, eds., Legal Pathways to Deep Decarbonization in the United States (forthcoming in 2018 from ELI), addresses the critical role of the electric transmission and distribution grid in achieving deep decarbonization, and discusses the primary federal and state laws that govern expanding the grid. Although significant legal and political barriers exist to creating the new transmission necessary to meet deep decarbonization goals, there are public law and nonpublic law tools available to surmount these barriers. Moreover, technology developments in energy storage, demand response, distributed energy resources, and the smart grid can both improve the existing grid and reduce the extent of grid expansion required for deep decarbonization.

Alexandra B. Klass is the Distinguished McKnight University Professor at the University of Minnesota Law School.

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