The energy challenge: We're at a critical point

Our nation's electric power infrastructure is ... rapidly running up against its limitations.

U.S. Department of Energy report

A failing system: Since it was first created about 100 years ago, the U.S. power grid hasn't changed much, nor have most of the laws and regulations governing it. 

What's at stake? To avoid the catastrophic effects of climate change, we must upgrade the power system – and do it soon.

Why the power grid has to change

We currently rely on an energy system that's incapable of taking us to into the future.

  • 35% of climate pollution comes from electricity generation1
  • $150b is lost annually from power outages and blackouts in the U.S.2

What stands in the way?

It's not a matter of technology or knowledge. We have the tools to make clean energy a reality. It's projected that by mid-century – with a more flexible and dynamic power grid in place – we could meet 80 percent of the nation's electricity needs using clean energy technologies that exist right now.

It's a matter of outdated policies.  Old, entrenched regulations limit new players – like solar companies and even homeowners – from earning revenue and plugging into the full range of products otherwise available in a truly open market. For example:

  • In Oklahoma, state laws allow only a few big utilities to sell power directly to consumers, a monopoly structure that stifles competition among clean energy companies and provides consumers with less freedom to choose the energy provider that works best for them.
  • In the Midwest, coal-centric utilities like FirstEnergy have been engaged in a multi-year campaign to shut out competition from clean energy innovators who are helping homeowners and businesses save energy and money. While they have yet to succeed, the fight continues.

What we're doing to fix it

We're clearing the path to a clean energy economy by defending the Clean Power Plan, rewriting outdated regulations, spurring energy services markets and modernizing our century-old electric grid – and we need your help.


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