Sustainable Transportation Solutions for Maine

Maine’s climate and transportation policymaking is at a critical juncture. Last week, the Governor’s Energy Office convened an expert task force of private, public, and non-profit stakeholders to consider the challenges and opportunities ahead and to develop the Maine Energy Roadmap. The group faced complex and seemingly contradictory goals. Through one lens, maturing transportation technologies are transforming the marketplace. Most major automakers already offer electric vehicles, dozens of additional long-range, reasonably-priced models are in development, and Volvo will sell only hybrid or electric vehicles starting in 2019.  As options expand, battery ranges increase, and costs fall, Maine consumers will increasingly
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New Reports Show Electric Vehicle Market Is Taking Hold

Confidence in electric vehicles (EVs) is growing. Several recent announcements demonstrate that many industries are convinced EVs will play a major role in the future of personal vehicles. Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) recently forecasted that EVs will make up about 58% of vehicle sales in the U.S. by 2040. This month, Volvo committed to producing exclusively EVs and hybrids by 2019. And even OPEC, the representative body of oil producing nations, has begun to predict a significant impact from EVs—Bloomberg Technology just reported that the oil group quintupled its 2040 EV forecast from last year. These updated EV predictions are
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EnergyVision 2030 for Massachusetts

Massachusetts has a strong record addressing climate-changing pollution. In the early 2000s, Massachusetts was a founding partner in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a multi-state, bipartisan cooperative that has contributed to a 50% drop in power plant emissions.  Passage of the Green Communities Act in 2008 led to nation-leading energy efficiency policies that reduce energy waste and save consumers billions of dollars. Last year, the Baker Administration and Legislature collaborated on landmark legislation to launch the U.S. offshore wind industry, enable further growth of onshore wind and solar power, import Canadian hydroelectricity, and place the Commonwealth at the forefront
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How Can We Replace Traditional Infrastructure with Clean Energy?

In March, Acadia Center released an analysis demonstrating that outdated financial incentives are driving expenditures on expensive and unnecessary utility infrastructure and inhibiting clean energy in the Northeast. The report, Incentives for Change: Why Utilities Continue to Build and How Regulators Can Motivate Them to Modernize, shows that under current rules, utilities can earn more money on infrastructure expenditures like natural gas pipelines and electric transmission lines than on cleaner, local energy resources like energy efficiency, rooftop solar, and highly efficient electric heat pumps. The key takeaway from the analysis is that without changes to the way they are regulated
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New Era of Natural Gas Exports Raises Concerns for Northeast

President Trump’s “Energy Week” address today is expected to express strong support for U.S. exports of natural gas, currently on the rise. For the Northeast, these exports exacerbate the risks of the region’s already-dangerous overreliance on a fossil fuel that has a history of volatile prices and will not allow the region to reach its commitments to reduce greenhouse gases. With the arrival two weeks ago in Taiwan of a liquified natural gas (LNG) tanker ship loaded with American natural gas, June has been a month marked with milestones for the nascent export industry in the United States. Preceding this
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One Month In – Advocating for Clean Energy Policies in Connecticut

In this blog post, Acadia Center’s new Policy Advocate in Connecticut, Kerry Schlichting, shares her experience one month into her tenure at the organization. I recently joined the Hartford team in late May, after eight years in Washington, D.C., working on energy policy issues with a national perspective, and was eager to apply my experience to challenges at both the federal and state level. As a new staff member, my experience over the past month in Connecticut’s exciting and fast-paced environment has shown me the depth and breadth of Acadia Center’s work and how much is possible in the state
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Out with the Old, In with the New: The New York DSIPs and What They Mean for the Modernized Energy Grid

The traditional system we currently use for serving the needs of energy users is quickly going out of style. The energy grid is still relying on a system that was invented almost 100 years ago (hello, the 1930s called and they want their transmission and distribution lines back!). The old classic version of the grid has served an important purpose for getting energy to consumers reliably and safely, but today’s energy fashion is more demanding. While the old grid excelled at sending energy one-way from generators to consumers, the new energy grid needs to be able to accessorize by incorporating
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EnergyVision 2030: What the numbers tell us about how to achieve a clean energy system

What impact will current efforts to expand clean energy markets in the Northeast have over time? Where can we do more to advance these markets? What specific increases in clean energy are needed to adequately reduce carbon pollution and meet targets for deep reductions in climate pollution? What does the data show about claims that more natural gas pipeline capacity is needed? A few years ago, Acadia Center released a framework entitled EnergyVision, which shows that a clean energy future can be achieved in the Northeast by drawing on the benefits of using clean energy to heat our homes, transport
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EnergyVision 2030 FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about EnergyVision 2030 What is EnergyVision 2030? EnergyVision 2030 is a data-based analysis of options to expand clean energy resources in New York and the six New England states. It examines where current efforts can lead, how consumer adoption and market penetration rates can grow, and what increases in clean energy efforts are needed to attain emissions goals. EnergyVision 2030 shows that advances in technologies that are now readily available, from heat pumps to electric cars to solar panels, create the means for states to advance a consumer-friendly energy system by increasing adoption in four key areas—grid
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RGGI Emissions Fell Again in 2016

Declining Emissions Signal Need for Reform In advance of expected actions by the Trump administration to remove or weaken federal climate protections, the Northeast’s pioneering climate program continues to see reductions in carbon pollution, reflected by today’s three-year low auction clearing price. Member states must now strengthen the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to preserve the program’s effectiveness and signal commitment to continuing bi-partisan climate leadership. Introduction CO2 emissions from power plants have been steadily declining across the nine states of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) for the last decade, and in 2016 fell 8.4 percent below the emissions cap. Since
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