The choices we face around energy are complex and often involve difficult tradeoffs.
Pennsylvania Energy Horizons presents two stories of our future – “Rivers” and “Roots”. They describe how Pennsylvania’s energy system might emerge in 25 years as we seek to define answers to questions of great importance to us – our economy, our environment, and our culture.
These stories serve as a tool to begin a meaningful dialogue today among policy-makers, business executives, community leaders and politicians to thoughtfully and proactively help shape that future.
In the end, our hope is that individual Pennsylvanians will read these stories, draw their own conclusions about the ideal facets of our shared future, and then to act, and encourage society’s leaders to act, in a manner that helps shape that future.
How might Pennsylvania’s energy system evolve in 25 years, and what might it mean for Pennsylvanians?
During a 12-month period beginning in 2017 and culminating in 2018, a group of Pennsylvanians representing a wide-ranging set of backgrounds and expertise was convened by Team Pennsylvania Foundation to debate, and ultimately attempt to answer, this question.
Their work culminates in a document titled Pennsylvania Energy Horizons, which was developed using a world-renowned energy scenarios methodology. The project lays out two plausible and challenging alternative futures called “Rivers” and “Roots” which may provide “strategic foresight” into how the decisions made by Pennsylvania’s policy-makers, business executives, community leaders and politicians today can shape our state’s future.
The group undertook this work acknowledging that Pennsylvania is undergoing a profound energy transition. In just a few short years, the Commonwealth has become the second largest natural gas producing state in the nation accounting for approximately 19% of the nation’s natural gas production. This is occurring amidst a global push for deep decarbonization measures.
To date, discussions about how to respond to our rapidly evolving energy system have occurred largely in isolation and at the ends of the ideological spectrum, with little room for compromise. The participants in this project sought a more comprehensive and balanced discourse towards a desirable energy future, and they found it in creating scenarios.
Throughout 2019, we intend to host Pennsylvania Energy Horizons sessions across the commonwealth with a range of stakeholders – governments, associations, non-profits, businesses and universities – to talk about “Rivers” and “Roots.” We would like to spark conversation, gain critical input, and perhaps even arrive at a common understanding that will help shape Pennsylvania’s long-term energy future.