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Coastal wind turbines.

The Energy Transition Initiative (ETI) was established to expand UNC’s focus on energy and climate change at a time when the energy system is undergoing rapid change. Through research into energy policy and climate resilience and targeted convening efforts, the ETI seeks to help policymakers and other stakeholders identify creative strategies to guide the electricity sector to an affordable, reliable, clean, and equitable future. By leveraging the expertise across IE and at UNC Law’s Center for Climate, Energy, Environment, and Economics (CE3), the ETI tackles pressing environmental challenges and strives to ensure that UNC is a key institution steering the energy transition in North Carolina, throughout the southeast region, and beyond. 

Strategic Initiatives

  1. Deepen energy stakeholder engagement across North Carolina and the southeast region through strategic partnerships 
  2. Pursue new avenues of timely research at the intersection of energy, equity, and environmental justice 
  3. Socialize the ETI across the Carolina Community while harnessing the energy transition as an educational opportunity for UNC students 

Project Spotlight

Southeast Energy and Environmental Leadership Forum

The ETI, in partnership with Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability, facilitates the Southeast Energy and Environmental Leadership Forum (SEELF). SEELF convenes energy and air quality regulators from across the region for discussions on multi-state climate and clean energy policy initiatives and serves as a clearinghouse for information on federal clean energy investment. 

SEELF enables Southeastern states to (a) understand how new federal power sector policies interact with trends already affecting the electricity sector and (b) implement the new federal policies in an equitable and efficient way. These policies include EPA rulemaking proposals for greenhouse gases under §111(b) and (d) of the Clean Air Act, as well as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). 

Meet the Team

Alex Hopkins

Alex Hopkins

Interim Director, Energy Transition Initiative
(919) 966-9922



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