Action Guide Identifies Barriers to Community Energy—Resilient Microgrids Could Have Helped Maine Bounce Back from Storm Damage

Of the many economic, energy, and environmental benefits of a clean, modernized community energy system, one might stand out for electric customers across the Northeast right now: resiliency. More than 1.5 million homes lost power when hurricane-force winds and torrential rain battered New England in late October. In Maine, toppled trees blocked roads, damaged homes and cars, and pulled down power lines, contributing to outages that left nearly two-thirds of the state without power. The emergency response was hardly a picture of resilience: despite the efforts of more than 3,000 state agency and utility workers from 14 states and three Canadian provinces, it took
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Acadia Center Strengthens New York Office and Hires New York State Director

It is an exciting time for clean energy issues in New York. New York’s ongoing Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, its goal of 50% renewable energy by 2030, and its continued participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative provide key elements for the future of the state’s energy system. Acadia Center’s recently completed report, EnergyVision 2030, shows that New York can reduce emissions 45% and be on a path to a clean energy system by the year 2030 if the state acts now to further strengthen its commitment to clean energy technologies. To facilitate the action necessary to achieve
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No. 1 on Our List of Back to School Supplies: Electric School Buses

The beginning of September signifies the beginning of the school year for many students. Across the country, 26 million, or over half of school-aged children are transported by 480,000 school buses.1 In an average school year, each bus travels about 12,000 miles, using 1,714 gallons of diesel fuel2 and producing about 17 MMT of CO2 emissions,3 as well as other harmful emissions such as nitrogen oxides and particulate matter. Electric school buses offer a viable alternative to diesel buses, and offer a solution to the health and environmental impacts of burning diesel fuel. A relatively new option, electric school buses are
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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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