Date of Award

Spring 5-14-2023

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


This paper explores the shortcomings of the modern United States Power Grid in the face of climate change and worsening climate conditions, and seeks to explore how alternative styles of power grids could be viable replacements for current designs. The power grid is one of the most fundamental aspects of modern life, without it there would be no reliable energy supply to power devices and machinery. Oftentimes when energy generation is discussed in the United States, it only focuses on the source of generation for the energy, not the transmission of the energy. The lack of complete discussion around this topic means that some of the roots of the problem are left unresolved when discussing how to properly tackle climate change. Chapter one discusses the shortcomings of the United States power grid, along with some quantitative data and IPCC climate recommendations and guidelines to meet regarding climate change. Chapter two is largely focused on the development of the United States power grid from a series of smaller microgrids, to the now massive and interconnected connected power grid. Chapter three focuses on the economics of the current power grid, and how a wide implementation of microgrids in array with renewable energy could be economically beneficial. Chapter four focuses on the activity surrounding microgrids, whether it is bill, law, or some other form of funding for microgrid developments, or if it is a new microgrid project that is either completed or in development. Chapter five focuses on policy recommendations to meet IPCC guidelines and to begin the process of implementing microgrids nationwide.