SSV: Virginia and Climate Change

William Shobe

William Shobe, professor at the Weldon Cooper Center for Public Service, spoke on the energy transition initiative that Virginia reduce electricity carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 and the pathways to reach this goal cost effectively. He discussed not only the opportunities to accomplish this, but also the roadblocks to getting there. Professor Shobe spoke at the November meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia.

In this podcast Shobe points out that in 2006 Virginia reached the peak of carbon emissions and there has now been a considerable drop off. The reason behind this decline is the decrease in coal use and the increase in natural gas. After years of minimal usage of renewable energy sources, there is now a growing interest in hydro, solar and wind energy production. Since 2010 the importation of electricity into Virginia has decreased reducing carbon emissions. Since 2016 solar production has become increasingly popular. Currently the cheapest new resource to build is solar. According to Shobe, in 2021 Virginia has produced the same amount of energy from solar as coal,

Professor Shobe is hopeful that costs will come down in some energy sectors and new technologies will be available to make products more affordable. In the end, he feels with advance planning and cooperation a zero-carbon emission goal may be accomplished.

Professor Shobe spoke at the Wednesday November 10, 2021 meeting of the Senior Statesmen of Virginia. The meeting was held at The Center in Charlottesville and simulcast on Zoom. Following the presentation, questions were taken from the audience. The program was introduced by SSV President Jeff Gould and moderated by SSV Past President Bob McGrath.

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