Kizer talks net-zero and innovation at AI LA Earth Summit

April is always a busy month for the climate community. This year in particular was marked by an increase in net-zero commitments from the private sector and new Nationally Determined Contributions from countries including Canada, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korean, the United Kingdom, and the United States. AI LA’s Earth Summit is one of many annual conferences that provides a unique opportunity to learn and engage with experts from all sectors. EFI’s Senior Vice President of Research and Analysis, Alex Kizer, attended the two-day webinar for a panel on how to properly use emerging clean technologies on the path to net-zero.

The road to decarbonization will be met with extremely difficult obstacles and will require new levels of collaboration and innovation. Climate mitigation will require more than just new technologies — we must empower people and communities to accelerate the clean energy transition. “If we don’t have a strong, robust workforce set up to support this entire system, net-zero will not happen, regardless of what the policy has to say,” declared Kizer in his opening remarks.

The clean energy transition will require a massive deployment of renewables in a short time frame. It will also require a clean electric grid. So, what’s stopping us from having 100% renewables tomorrow? According to Kizer, cost poses a big challenge. Optionality and flexibility will be essential in the road to net-zero.

In November, EFI published a study on decarbonizing New England’s grid that examines what’s needed to maintain grid reliability. The study found that the cost of the electric grid in a renewables scenario was five times the cost of using even a little bit of natural gas. the goal is net-zero carbon, not necessarily 100% renewables.

Regional solutions, another point Kizer highlighted, must be deployed to ensure each state receives relevant funding and technologies customized for their local geography.

Watch Kizer’s full remarks, along with the panel discussion, here.

-Claudia Prandoni

(Share this post with others.)