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On Wednesday, June 16, Axios climate and energy reporter Andrew Freedman and energy reporter Ben Geman took a look at energy resilience and the electric grid, featuring Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), New York Power Authority President & CEO and GridWise Alliance Chair Gil C. Quiniones and GridWise Alliance CEO Karen G. Wayland.

Sen. Martin Heinrich discussed how policymakers can make a difference in creating a resilient and accessible energy grid.

  • On the need to invest in a grid that will support future generations: "We really need to reinvest in our grid. It needs to be much more robust because we're going to actually have a lot more electricity on the grid 10 years from now than we do now."
  • On improving accessibility through point of sale rebates: "Shifting from [tax credits] to point of sale rebates is a really important way of how we get at this and do it broadly across the economy, and make sure that average and even low-income people can make these changes, whereas tax credits tend to incentivize the top of the market."

New York Power Authority President & CEO and GridWise Alliance Chair Gil C. Quiniones and GridWise Alliance CEO Karen G. Wayland hosted a joint segment where they discussed both state and federal level initiatives to improve energy infrastructure.

  • Gil C. Quiniones on progress made in New York state: "We're applying smart grid technologies...to make the grid more resilient, more flexible and to integrate renewables into our power system. We're also working with our customers to decarbonize their operations [and] energy efficiency."
  • Karen G. Wayland on President Biden's approach to clean energy: "I think it was quite smart of the president to have his climate policy revolve around investments in infrastructure because once that money goes out into the economy, it's durable policy. We build equipment, we deploy technologies and those will help address climate goals...It's not something that can be rolled back."

Axios Vice President of Communications Yolanda Brignoni hosted a View from the Top Segment with GE Digital Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer Dr. Colin Parris, who discussed how to create and maintain a stable energy grid.

  • "One aspect of the grid is that the grid is a shared ecosystem...Because it's a shared ecosystem, you have to have shared responsibility. You've got to bring together the people who create the equipment on the grid, people who build software for the grid, government agencies who write the policies, investors who invest in the markets that make the grid."

Thank you GE for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper

Updated Sep 23, 2021 - Axios Events

Watch: A conversation on investing in advanced climate tech

On Thursday, September 23rd, Axios business editor Dan Primack and Axios Today host Niala Boodhoo explored how alternative energy investments toward climate solutions function in the private and public sector today, featuring Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Galvanize Climate Solutions co-founder Tom Steyer.

Sen. Ron Wyden explained his support for overhauling the existing tax code to incentivize companies to reduce their emissions, his belief that all Americans should pay their fair share of taxes, and Congressional efforts to increase electric vehicle usage.

  • On his support for modifying the tax code: “One of the little secrets about the tax code is that many billionaires pay little or no income taxes. The way they do that is they don’t take a wage, and so Americans have read all these stories about prominent billionaires paying virtually nothing in the way of income taxes for years and years on end. I don’t think that’s right.”
  • On the future trajectory of electric vehicles: “Getting a critical mass of these electric vehicles on the road is going to bring down costs. It’s going to be good for the environment, good for marketplace forces, and the American economy.”

Tom Steyer highlighted the importance of cleaning up electricity generation across the country, how the climate tech investment landscape has changed over the last decade, and what areas of climate tech he believes need more attention and investment.

  • On the future of the infrastructure and reconciliation bills: “I believe that the Democratic Party will come to a negotiated place which will include very important climate regulations, climate initiatives, and that specifically they will be encouraging the move to clean electricity generation across the United States during this decade.”
  • On the need for more tangible innovations in climate tech: “It’s going to be incredibly important for us too to do well in the businesses like manufacturing, where you can touch the product. We have dominated the kinds of businesses like software that you can’t touch.”

Axios co-founder and CEO Jim VandeHei hosted a View from the Top segment with HSBC’s Group Chief Sustainability Officer Celine Herweijer, who discussed how sustainability is moving to the forefront of many corporations’ long-term goals.

  • “We’ve committed to essentially have a net zero target across all of our finance commissions portfolio. So to be able to do that, that means fundamentally changing how we finance it, fundamentally changing our risk appetite, changing our culture, our policies, our processes of capability.”

Thank you HSBC for sponsoring this event.

Go deeper: Get smarter, faster on the growing field of climate tech with our free short course.

Virginia energy giant quietly boosts McAuliffe

Former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe speaks during a campaign rally on Oct. 15 in Henrico, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe has sworn off money from the Richmond company Dominion Energy. But the utility has found more subtle ways to back McAuliffe's gubernatorial bid, records show.

Driving the news: Dominion's political action committee has donated $200,000 to a murky political group called Accountability Virginia PAC, a group with ties to prominent Democrats that's been running ads attacking Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin from the right.

3 hours ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.