Connecticut’s Clean Energy Moment

Connecticut is having a clean energy moment — one that could launch a new wave of progress if the right policy decisions are made. This opportunity comes as somewhat of a coincidence. Two key planning processes, the Governor’s Council on Climate Change and the state’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Strategy, will likely intersect this year, with each issuing important policy findings in the coming months. These findings will guide the state’s actions on fundamental climate and energy issues for many years — with lasting consequences for Connecticut’s economy, public health, and environment. Connecticut’s clean energy moment may also have legal significance.
Learn More

Mass. wants its neighbors to move faster to cut emissions

Overall, the cap-and-trade program has led to reduced emissions and lower energy prices, advocates say. Last year, the region produced about 83 million tons of carbon emissions, 37 percent less than in 2008, according to the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group in Boston. In a report this year, the group found these states have reduced emissions by 16 percent more than other states, while the region’s economy has grown 3.6 percent more than the rest of the country. At the same time, energy prices have fallen by an average of 3.4 percent, while electricity rates in other states have
Learn More

Four Things You Didn’t Know about Energy Efficiency in Connecticut… And One You Might Have Guessed

1. Nutmeggers have saved more than 1.5 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) in energy over the last five years1 That’s equivalent to fully powering 169,000 houses in Connecticut for an entire year.2 For reference, Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut, has approximately 51,000 occupied housing units3 so with the energy saved over the last five years, we would have more than enough to power three cities the same size as Bridgeport for an entire year. This number doesn’t even include the additional lifetime savings that we know will be realized in the future thanks to these investments in energy efficiency now.
Learn More

Interconnection Reform: Good for the Grid and the Climate

New York State is currently working to dramatically ramp up the deployment of solar and other distributed generation (DG) technologies in an effort to improve the resiliency and reliability of its electric system as well as to help combat climate change. In these efforts, interconnection reform plays a key role. Interconnection refers to a state-established procedure that new distributed generation units must follow to connect in parallel with the utility’s distribution system. The interconnection process involves numerous steps and may take several months depending on the technical specifications of the project and the point of interconnection. Projects awaiting interconnection are
Learn More

What 10 Years of RGGI’s Carbon-Trading Agreement Means for the Future

In the nearly eight years that the program has been fully operational, electricity prices in RGGI states have dropped an average of 3.4 percent. “RGGI states’ experience reducing emissions faster and at lower cost than anticipated comes at an important time,” the Acadia Center wrote in a recent report about RGGI. Read the full article from Greentech Media here.

Editorial: Carbon limits paying off

A recent report by the Acadia Center, a nonprofit research organization that promotes clean energy and economic growth, found the states participating in RGGI have reported more economic growth than similar states that opted out. That’s not likely a coincidence. Read the full article from the Albany Times Union here.  

RGGI reforms could push states past EPA targets — report

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, an emissions trading program in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, should adopt a number of reforms to set up its nine member states to go above and beyond the targets in U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, a new report says. The report, “Achieving Climate Commitments,” is the second in a status report on RGGI by the Acadia Center, a clean energy research group based in the Northeast. Read full article from E&E News here.

Public Supports Strengthening RGGI to Fight Climate Change

The next bit of good news is that—as outlined by our friends at the Acadia Center—there is much the RGGI states can do to strengthen the program so it continues to deliver benefits to our climate. RGGI works by requiring power producers in the region to buy carbon allowances at quarterly auctions or on the secondary market to cover each ton of carbon they emit, with the number of allowances declining each year. The states then use the auction revenue to support consumer programs, with the vast majority of the cash going toward energy efficiency; renewable energy; direct bill assistance;
Learn More

Achieving Climate Commitments: Strengthening RGGI to Achieve State and Federal Requirements

BOSTON — Part II of Acadia Center’s status report on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), Achieving Climate Commitments, describes reforms that northeast and mid-Atlantic States need to implement during the 2016 Program Review to achieve state and federal greenhouse gas reduction requirements, including: Aligning the emissions cap with states’ GHG reduction requirements and extending the cap to 2031. Adjusting for banked allowances to preserve RGGI’s effectiveness. Strengthening the Cost Containment Reserve to prevent inflation of the RGGI cap. “RGGI continues to prove itself as an effective means of reducing carbon emissions and supporting economic growth. Now, northeast and mid-Atlantic
Learn More

Massachusetts just gave a huge boost to the offshore wind industry

In a recent statement, Peter Shattuck, Massachusetts director of the clean energy organization Acadia Center, hailed the legislation as a “huge step on the path to a clean energy future.” And DONG Energy’s General Manager of North America, Thomas Brostrøm, called the legislation a “landmark moment for Massachusetts’ clean energy future and a victory for the Commonwealth’s residents and businesses.” Read the full article from the Washington Post here.