Brown Appointed to National Academies Committee on Net Metering

Posted March 25, 2022

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) has appointed Marilyn Brown, Regents Professor and Brook Byers Professor of Sustainable Systems in the School of Public Policy, to an ad hoc committee to study net metering’s role in combatting climate change.

Net metering is a process by which consumers who generate some or all of their energy through solar power can sell the excess back to the grid. The committee will examine the impact of net metering on the electrical grid and consumers, including the role of new technologies, business models, and rate structures.

“Distributed energy resources are some of the most promising carbon reduction strategies for the U.S., including rooftop solar, microgrids, and battery storage,” Brown said. “This committee is trying to answer the question of how rates can be set fairly to allocate the costs and benefits of expanding this new generation of clean energy.”

The group will carry out its research over approximately 20 months. Congress directed NASEM to form the committee as part of its funding for the Department of Energy in 2020.

This is Brown’s second NASEM committee appointment for 2022 and her ninth since 2004. She is also a member of the committee that studies how analysis tools can help the Department of Transportation provide equitable services for underserved communities.

“These are blue-ribbon committees, with the best and the brightest minds laser-focused on problems of national importance,” Brown said. “I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my time.”

School of Public Policy Presence at NASEM

Brown is one of four School of Public Policy faculty members serving on NASEM committees.

Assistant Professor Omar Asensio was named to the National Academies New Voices Cohort in July. The group, which is serving from 2021 to 2023, brings diverse perspectives to global issues in science, engineering, and medicine.

Professor Valerie Thomas, who holds a joint appointment in SPP, was named chair of the committee on Current Methods for Life Cycle Analyses of Low-Carbon Transportation Fuels in the United States. That group is working to determine how to use greenhouse-gas emissions from transportation liquids in low-carbon fuel programs.

NASEM also named Associate Professor Emanuele Massetti to the Carbon Utilization Infrastructure, Markets, Research, and Development Committee in January 2022. That group is working to identify fields that could best utilize carbon dioxide as the economy shifts towards a carbon-neutral future, as well as studying market possibilities and infrastructure needs.

The School of Public Policy is a unit of the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts.

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School of Public Policy | Sam Nunn School of International Affairs