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
Read More

AWA blue leaf

An Ode to Docket 4600

As told through a series of haiku: I drove to Warwick In a blue electric car The chargers were full   Those in the know, know Rhode Island utilities Governed in Warwick   Fifty-four miles left Should be plenty to get home I am risk averse   Endure long meeting With many energy geeks Time-based rates for cars   Leafs swap spots at lunch Brain can’t take much more rate talk Level 2 charging   Start up in silence I pause a moment, and breathe Rate case up ahead  

Can New England Steal California’s Storage Thunder?

Clean energy rivals New England and California are racing toward a new prize: leadership on energy storage. Both coasts have been leaders on energy efficiency, renewables deployment, and electric vehicles (EVs), and storage is the logical next step to improve system efficiency and back up intermittent wind and solar as they are increasingly adopted. The benefits of storage are clear and increasingly well-recognized. Storage deployed at scale will serve the same purpose as warehouses and refrigerators in our food system by rationalizing an energy grid that is massively overbuilt to match supply and demand every second of every day. This
Read More

New York Proposes New Rates for Distributed Energy

This blog was co-authored with Miles Farmer, Clean Energy Attorney at Natural Resources Defense Council. The New York Department of Public Service has proposed to change the way distributed energy resources (like community solar and small wind projects) are rewarded for the benefits that they provide to the electricity system. The Department released a landmark report in its “Value of Distributed Energy Resources” proceeding, recommending a methodology by which these resources can receive credits that align more closely with their true value to the electricity system. Acadia Center and NRDC have been involved in the collaborative process around the report’s creation,
Read More

Finding New Frontiers: Clean Energy on Aquidneck Island

This summer, an Acadia Center blog post highlighted the clean energy moment happening in Connecticut. Policymakers in that state are currently deciding what its energy future will look like for years to come, and stakeholders must take notice—but Connecticut isn’t the only state having a clean energy moment. In fact, you might say the whole region, country, even world is having a clean energy moment. At Acadia Center, we strive to capture a vision that will help more communities, of whatever size, embrace these moments, and recently in Rhode Island we found ourselves in a room with more than one
Read More

In a rapidly changing world, what do we mean by RGGI leadership?

Never before has the urgency of climate action been so apparent, demonstrated by record high temperatures and unprecedented drought. Yet, as the impacts of climate change become more painfully obvious, jurisdictions from small towns to the world’s largest countries are working towards solutions. Since the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) began in the Northeast, the Governors of the participating states have led by embracing, implementing, and improving a first-in-the-nation carbon reduction program. It is now up to a new group of Governors to determine whether RGGI remains a model for ambitious action on climate. What does RGGI leadership mean? Looking
Read More

Reforming Electricity Pricing Can Promote Electric Vehicles and Help Optimize the Electric Grid

Electric vehicles (EVs) provide multiple environmental and consumer benefits. Because they emit about 60% less greenhouse gas (GHG) than conventional vehicles, EVs are an important element in reaching state GHG reduction requirements. Plus, EVs have lower operating costs than conventional vehicles—even with today’s low gasoline prices; for example, in Connecticut an EV only costs about five cents per mile to operate compared to eight cents for a conventional vehicle. That’s a savings of over 80 cents per gallon-equivalent. Given that the largest source of GHGs in the Northeast is the transportation sector, states should be pushing for accelerated adoption of
Read More

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.
Read 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.
Read 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
Read More