RGGI Riding Clean Energy to a Low Carbon Future

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) has now produced enough data to make certain trends abundantly clear: the electric sector is becoming cleaner while the regional economy grows. The nine participating RGGI states, which held their first allowance auction nearly eight years ago, have delivered on their promise of cutting carbon emissions from the region’s power plants. As Acadia Center’s most recent report details, these emissions reductions have been driven, in part, by the steady growth of renewable energy generation and energy efficiency programs. Not only has this transition to a clean energy system helped to curb harmful pollution, it
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New Data Shows Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Working for Bay State

BOSTON – A new report finds the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative is producing major drops in climate pollution in states such as Massachusetts, and despite dire predictions, the economies of RGGI states are leading the nation. Peter Shattuck, is director of the Clean Energy Initiative at the nonprofit Acadia Center, which produced the new report. Shattuck said CO2 emissions dropped by just over 6 percent below the initiative’s cap in 2015; and there have been greater reductions over the long term. “Massachusetts and other states participating in RGGI have been able to curb carbon pollution by 37 percent since the
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Report: RGGI resulting in emissions reductions, lower electricity costs

BOSTON – A new report examining the effects of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a coalition of Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states, including Rhode Island, shows participating states are outpacing other parts of the country for both emissions reduction and declining electricity prices. Acadia Center, a nonprofit advocate of low-carbon energy, released the report, showing the region has realized a reduction in carbon emissions in each of the last five years, and is down 37 percent since the program launched in 2009. The coalition, known better as RGGI, is a mandatory cap-and-trade market comprising nine states, including all of the New
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RGGI’s Success Continues: Region Outpacing the Rest of the Country on Emissions and Economics

BOSTON — A new report from Acadia Center shows that the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States’ Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) continues to succeed in driving down emissions, which have declined in each of the last 5 years and are down 37% since the program launched. Over the same time period electricity prices have declined across the region, even as prices in other states have increased, and RGGI states have outpaced other states on both emissions reductions and economic growth. The analysis, Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Status Report, Part I: Measuring Success describes key trends and drivers, including that: Emissions of
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Report: Cap-and-trade system cuts carbon use, boosts growth

Albany — The nation’s first state-level emissions cap-and-trade program has vastly reduced carbon dioxide emissions in a nine-state region including New York since 2009, according to a report to be released Thursday. The Acadia Center, a non-profit research organization that advocates for clean energy and economic growth, found that the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states involved in the cap-and-trade program have also reported more economic growth than states without a similar initiative…. Thursday’s report notes RGGI states’ economies grew 24.9 percent, opposed to 21.3 percent in non-RGGI states, again excluding California. Almost 60 percent of revenue generated by carbon dioxide allowances was reinvested
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Acadia Center’s Community Energy Forums continue with event in the SouthCoast

Last month, Acadia Center co-hosted the first event in the South Coast Community Energy Series with Leadership SouthCoast, the Marion Institute, South Coast Media Group, and Toxics Action Center. The New Bedford forum, “Building the SouthCoast’s Clean Energy Future,” explored the current energy landscape, energy challenges affecting the SouthCoast, and local clean energy alternatives for the region. Because of new developments in the way energy is generated, delivered, and used, communities and neighborhoods have exciting opportunities to benefit from clean, efficient, and affordable energy at the local level and move away from increasing their overreliance on fossil fuels. However, reforming
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New Legislation Advances Rhode Island’s Commitment to Renewable Energy

On July 7, 2016, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo signed into law several bills that will help advance the deployment of renewable energy resources. These bills are welcome developments that signal the state’s commitment to the growth of renewable energy and a clean energy economy, and lay the groundwork for expanding community energy projects and advancing solar and other distributed energy resources through incentive programs and good rate design. Key provisions in each of the bills are summarized in this post. H-7413A/S-2185A — This bill extends the Renewable Energy Standard (RES) from 2019 to 2035 and ramps up National Grid’s
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Carbon prices are way down, thanks to the Supreme Court’s hold on Clean Power Plan

“Low RGGI prices hamper the region’s ability to pursue additional carbon cuts,” and make clean energy investment less profitable, said Jordan Stutt, a clean energy analyst for the Acadia Center, a New England climate policy think tank. He said lower prices mean states earn less money from trading carbon, reducing the amount of auction money they will get that can be reinvested in state-run clean energy and energy efficiency programs.

Report critical of ‘hidden costs’ in transmission projects

A new report released this week by a Boston-based environmental group is critical of what the group calls “hidden costs” in regional electric transmission line projects. The Acadia Center report calls on regional grid operator ISO-New England and the six states it serves to adopt four recommendations in terms of determining whether new transmission lines are needed. The recommendations are: • Give equal consideration to local energy solutions when planning for grid reliability, and allow them to be eligible for cost recovery. • States should adopt regulatory and market reforms to provide opportunities and financial incentives for local energy resources.
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RGGI Experience Suggests CPP Concerns Are Overblown

The EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP)¹ is a groundbreaking regulation to combat climate change. Despite popular support for the rule, this first federal action to reduce carbon emissions from existing power plants has been met with considerable pushback in some quarters. The rule’s opponents most frequently cite three talking points, saying the CPP could 1) cause electricity prices to rise, 2) be a job killer, and 3) lead to economic stagnation. These concerns will sound quite familiar to the states participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), which launched in 2009. As the nation’s first market-based program to reduce
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