What is an “Energy Community?” Understanding the Effects of the Inflation Reduction Act
An event examining the Inflation Reduction Act’s provisions targeting “energy communities” and what it could mean for fossil fuel-dependent communities.
As the United States begins to move toward its net-zero goals, policymakers are looking to mitigate the impacts of a transition to clean energy on communities that currently rely heavily on fossil fuel production. The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) includes a provision that directs additional financial incentives for clean energy projects developed in “energy communities,” which could provide economic benefits to regions that face challenges associated with the energy transition. However, what constitutes an “energy community,” and does this provision sufficiently target the most vulnerable communities?
On Tuesday, November 1, Resources for the Future (RFF) hosted an event examining the IRA’s provisions targeting “energy communities” and what it could mean for fossil fuel-dependent communities. Researchers from RFF presented their analysis of the provision’s potential impacts, alternative interpretations, and a new approach for defining an “energy community.” Then, a panel of experts discussed its effectiveness, uncertainties behind the law’s implementation, and the broader implications of the transition to a net-zero economy.
- Julia Haggerty, Montana State University
- Erin Mayfield, Dartmouth College
- Sophie Pesek, Resources for the Future
- Daniel Raimi, Resources for the Future
- Benjamin Storrow, E&E News (Moderator)
Senior Research Analyst
Sophie Pesek is a research analyst for the Climate Risks and Impacts and Adaptation and Resilience programs at RFF.
Daniel Raimi is a fellow and director of the Equity in the Energy Transition Initiative at RFF. He works on a range of energy policy issues with a focus on tools to enable an equitable energy transition.
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