A National Insurance Policy
Val Jensen is a Senior Fellow with ICF, advising the firm and its clients on matters related to industry strategy. He is formerly Senior Vice President for Strategy and Policy with Exelon Utilities.
National climate policy — at least the mitigation side of the policy — wears a partisan hue and the way forward with decarbonization will be influenced strongly by the results of the presidential and congressional elections.
For example, the Biden plan envisions carbon net neutrality by 2050. In contrast, the urgency and importance of responding to the impacts of climate change and extreme weather to critical infrastructure assets and services is less politically charged.
Regardless of attribution, there is broad consensus that vulnerability to and costs of power grid disruption from storms, floods, heatwaves, and fires are high and rising. Adaptation (if one accepts the science on climate change) and resilience (if one doesn't necessarily) represent a set of strategies for minimizing the damage caused by natural disasters and for quickly restoring infrastructure — both grid and community — that is damaged.
Ideally, resilience strategies will minimize the negative consequences, shorten the recovery time, and ultimately leave the assets and services more resistant to future risks. Making our electric power system less vulnerable to disruption and easier to reboot can make sense on financial, broader economic, social, and environmental grounds.