Panel Kleinman Center Event

Towards Clean Energy Equity: Overcoming Racial Disparities

Speakers

Deborah Sunter
Assistant Professor, Tufts University
Jason Carney
CEO, Energy Electives
Emily Schapira
Executive Director, Philadelphia Energy Authority

Moderator

Sara Bronin
Gallivan Chair, University of Connecticut

Virtual event

This panel brought together practitioners and researchers to discuss how we can more equitably distribute the benefits that advances in energy policy and technology have brought to some, but not to all.

Event Summary

In the United States, opportunities for residents to access clean and reliable energy in their homes has improved drastically over the last decade. New technologies have improved household energy efficiency and reduced the carbon footprint of large appliances, including heating and cooling systems. In some states, households can make choices between a growing number of renewable energy suppliers, while others have the ability to produce and use their own solar energy, selling excess to the grid.

Yet, these positive outcomes are not shared equally. For example, Black and Hispanic majority census tracts show significantly less solar rooftop photovoltaics than white counterparts—even after being adjusted for income and homeownership. There are also staggering racial disparities in per-capita energy consumption, household energy expenditures, and rates of electric vehicle deployment. Understanding these disparities, their origins, and how to tackle them, is critical to designing smart and just energy policy. This panel brings together practitioners and researchers to discuss how we can more equitably distribute the benefits that advances in energy policy and technology have brought to some, but not to all.

View the Presentations

Shadow Caste on Residential Solar in TN
Jason Carney

The Philadelphia Energy Campaign: Building a Robust, Equitable Clean Energy Economy
Emily Schapira

Deborah Sunter

Assistant Professor, Tufts University
Deborah Sunter is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering and Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University. She holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Jason Carney

Founder and CEO, Energy Electives
Jason Carney is president of Tennessee Solar Energy Association and Founder and CEO of Energy Electives. Jason received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Tennessee State University and received a master’s degree in civic leadership from Lipscomb University.

Emily Schapira

Executive Director, Philadelphia Energy Authority
Emily Schapira is Philadelphia Energy Authority’s Executive Director and a member of the Board. She joined PEA as Executive Director in 2016 to execute the Philadelphia Energy Campaign and Emily has been a PEA board member since 2010, as a City Council appointee.

Sara Bronin

Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law, UConn
Sara Bronin is the Thomas F. Gallivan Chair in Real Property Law at the University of Conneticut Law School and the faculty director of the Center for Energy and Environmental Law. Bronin is a 2020-2021 Kleinman Center Visiting Scholar. 

This event was a part of Climate Week at Penn.