Players of this board game explore how to power New York City on clean energy » Yale Climate Connections

New York City has committed to using 100% clean electricity by 2040. To learn what it will take to achieve such an ambitious goal, some students are playing a board game called Energetic.

During the game, each player or team takes on the role of a politician, an activist, an entrepreneur, or an engineer.

Working together, they try to add enough clean energy to the grid to power New York City by a set date. In the process, the players must maintain grid stability, keep enough public support to win elections, balance their budget, and overcome climate impacts.

“You might be given a card that allows you to pay a certain amount of money to build a wind turbine. But someone also might have received a card saying that a local group is opposed to the wind turbine … and so you have to decide how to balance the different things,” says Adam Zaid of the Queens School of Inquiry in New York.

Zaid has played Energetic with his high school students.

He says his classes have not always been able to reach their clean energy goals in time to win the game.

“But what they were was completely engaged in these very real problems that are presented in very realistic ways,” he says.

Reporting credit: Ethan Freedman/ChavoBart Digital Media

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