Energy advocates gather on Maryland’s energy future

The Marylanders for Energy Democracy and Affordability (MEDA) network held a summit last Friday on the campus of St. John’s College in Annapolis. A wide array of organizations and individuals attended to learn about the latest on efforts to transform Maryland’s energy grid. The goal is to turn a system built for the needs of the 20th century into an engine of equity, prosperity, health, and empowerment for all Maryland communities.

The summit featured a full day’s agenda on such topics as energy affordability; new products and services; climate change and resiliency; environmental justice and public health; and community planning. In the day’s opening keynote address, Dr. Arjun Makhijani presented his vision for a Renewable Maryland and the need to democratize our electricity system along the way so that everyone has the opportunity to participate and benefit.

Bob King of Whisker Labs and Karl Rábago of Pace Energy and Climate Center spoke about the new world of products and services that are coming on to the market during a morning panel. Both speakers have deep experience in electricity markets. They spoke to what’s possible as the grid transforms from a one-way delivery system to a two-way marketplace for energy where individuals, businesses, municipalities, utilities, and others can all provide necessary grid services. These new markets have the potential to shift us toward renewable energy while making communities, infrastructure, and businesses more resilient to the increasing impacts of climate change.

To cap off the day, Tim Judson of NIRS, Jill Tauber of Earthjustice, and Montgomery County Council President Roger Berliner spoke about the current Public Service Commission proceeding (“PC 44”), how it is structured, where it’s headed, and ways for interested parties to get involved. After the summit wrapped up, many participants re-convened at a nearby pub to continue the conversation.

Want to get involved?

MD SUN and a diverse network of public interest organizations and residents are a part of the MEDA network. Together, we are participating in the PC44 process as well as on the broader goal of creating a fair, equitable, and democratic transition to a clean, reliable, and affordable energy economy. Sign up for updates from the MEDA network and stay up to date on what’s happening with efforts to transform the grid for the 21st Century.