Ensuring a cleaner, more efficient, reliable and equitable electric grid—the role of research in informing policymaking

Research can help guide a cleaner, better electric grid.

Teams supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation are developing new research to help guide policymakers as they consider ways to ensure the electric sector is cleaner, more efficient, reliable and equitable. EDF and New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity at the NYU School of Law—two of the Sloan Foundation's grantees—are working with the Foundation to highlight some of this exciting work in a series of five moderated discussions among experts. The conversations, the descriptions of which are below, are open to the public and will be captured in a series of blog posts.

Talk 2: Public Acceptance and Governance in Energy Policy

This discussion will focus on conflicts and consensus building around energy policy decisions and infrastructure projects, including solar and wind projects, pipelines, and transmission lines.

Sign-up to attend this event Thursday, Dec. 16, 2021, 10:00 a.m. ET »


  • Moderator: Elizabeth Wilson, Dartmouth College
  • Tanya Heikkila, University of Colorado, Denver
  • Katherine Konschnik, Duke University
  • David Konisky, Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Amanda Ormond, Western Grid

Learn more about the speakers


Elizabeth Wilson

  • Dr. Elizabeth J. Wilson is a professor of Environmental Studies and the inaugural Director of the Arthur L. Irving Institute for Energy and Society at Dartmouth College. She studies how energy systems are changing in the face of new technologies and new societal pressures. Her work focuses on the implementation of energy and environmental policies and laws in practice.

Speaker highlights

  • Amanda Ormond has worked in energy and public policy for over thirty years in Arizona and the West. For the past two decades she has managed the Ormond Group LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in education, advocacy, and lobbying for clean energy. She currently serves as a Director of Western Grid Group, a westwide nongovernmental organization working to build a clean electric grid. Prior to starting her consulting firm, she served as Director of the Arizona Energy Office for seven years where she was responsible for developing state policy and promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy and alternative fueled vehicles.
  • Dr. David Konisky is a professor at the Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research focuses on U.S. environmental and energy policy, with particular emphasis on regulation, federalism and state politics, public opinion, and environmental justice.
  • Dr. Tanya Heikkila is a professor and co-director of the University of Colorado, Denver’s Workshop on Policy Process Research. Her research and teaching focus on policy processes and environmental governance. She is particularly interested in how conflict and collaboration arise in policy processes, and what types of institutions support collaboration, learning and conflict resolution. Some of her recent research has explored these issues in the context of interstate watersheds, ecosystem restoration programs, unconventional oil and gas development, and the siting of energy production and distribution infrastructure.
  • Dr. Kate Konschnik is a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke Law School. Her work focuses on options for public electric utility regulation and electricity market reforms given emerging technologies and de-carbonization goals. She is currently working on a multidisciplinary research collaboration studying how the rules of regional transmission organizations and independent systems operators can help or hinder change.

Talk 1: Energy Justice and the Just Transition in the Power Sector – New Research and Policy Approaches

This discussion focused on new research on energy justice and the just transition within the electricity sector and how this work can help inform policy. Read more about it here.

Watch event recording


  • Moderator: Lauren Navarro, Senior Manager, Regulatory and Legislative Affairs, EDF
  • Raya Salter, New York State Climate Action Council
  • Dr. Charles Sims, Director of the Energy and Environment Program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy
  • Dr. Roman Sidortsov, Associate Professor of Energy Policy at Michigan Technological University

Learn more about the speakers


Lauren Navarro

  • Lauren Navarro: Lauren is a lawyer and Senior Manager at Environmental Defense Fund, where she works with the California's state legislature and agencies to enact policies that reduce pollution, enhance our communities and increase economic opportunities for people and businesses. Her efforts, based on the intersection of people, the environment and energy policy, bring together diverse stakeholders to find thoughtful resolutions.

Speaker highlights

Raya Salter

  • Raya Salter: Raya is an attorney, educator and clean energy law and policy expert with a focus on energy and climate justice. She is a member of the New York State Climate Action Council, which is developing the state’s plan to reach the nation’s leading climate action goals. She is also Senior Advisor, Justice40 Initiative, to WE ACT for Environmental Justice.

Dr. Charles Sims

View Dr. Sims’ slides

  • Dr. Charles Sims: Dr. Charles Sims is the Director of the Energy and Environment Program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy and an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Tennessee - Knoxville. He has expertise in environmental and natural resource economics, and behavioral and experimental economics. His Sloan-funded grant explores the environmental justice implications of distributed solar adoption and utilization.

Dr. Roman Sidortsov

View Dr. Sidortsov’s slides

  • Dr. Roman Sidortsov: Dr. Roman Sidortsov is an Associate Professor of Energy Policy at Michigan Technological University. He primarily works on the transition to sustainable energy systems, with a special focus on energy security and justice, energy geopolitics, risk governance in the energy sector and Arctic energy development. His Sloan-funded grant explores energy justice implications of repurposing underground mines for energy storage.

This webinar is part of an ongoing series highlighting research funded by the Sloan Foundation on electricity transmission and distribution. Stay tuned for upcoming events!