CT Losing Ground on Greenhouse Gas Emissions

…The state is legally required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2020. But new analysis by the Acadia Center shows the state’s total greenhouse gas pollution has increased almost 4.5 percent since 2012. Jamie Howland, director of Acadia’s Climate and Energy Analysis Center, says that follows what had been an eight-year trend of overall reductions. “2012 was the lowest year for emissions and so, in 2013 and 2014, emissions are now above that – and I think clearly above the 2020 target as well,” he says…

RGGI Emissions & Scenarios for Modeling

RGGI modeling should be more expansive – environmental groups and power companies agree

Later this year, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states will determine the future of the successful, first-in-the-nation climate program for the power sector, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). The most important decision centers on the cap level, the primary indicator of the program’s environmental ambition. Before the RGGI states ultimately decide on a post-2020 cap level, however, they will model the impacts of a range of possible cap scenarios. It is with that range in mind that the Collaborative for RGGI Progress (“the Collaborative”) urged the RGGI states to broaden their proposed scope of modeling when they submitted comments last week. The
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Analysis Finds Greenhouse Gas Emissions Rising In State

The study by the nonprofit Acadia Center indicates that carbon dioxide emissions from Connecticut sources rose by about 4.4 percent over 2013 and 2014. The previous eight years had seen repeated declines in the state’s CO2 emissions. Officials at the Acadia Center, which has been tracking this region’s energy conservation efforts and air pollution for more than 15 years, said the CO2 pollution increase appears to be linked to transportation sources. They warned this trend could put Connecticut’s air pollution goals in jeopardy if it continues, and called for more aggressive state efforts toward alternative energy sources and conservation. “This
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Rooftop solar: Net metering is a net benefit

…Likewise, a study by Acadia Center found the value of solar to exceed 22 cents per kWh of value for Massachusetts ratepayers through reduced energy and infrastructure costs, lower fuel prices, and lowering the cost of compliance with the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas requirements. This value was estimated to exceed the retail rate provided through net metering…

New Analysis Shows Connecticut’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Have Increased Since 2012; No Longer on Track to Meet State’s 2020 Target

Hartford, CT – Acadia Center today released new analysis showing that Connecticut’s total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions have reversed course and increased by 4.4% since 2012. Using the most recent data available on actual GHG emissions, Acadia Center found that total GHG emissions increased from 39.6 million metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) in 2012 to 41.3 MMTCO2e in 2014 – a net increase of 1.7 MMTCO2e. This is the first two-year increase in GHG emissions for Connecticut since 2003-2004. Acadia Center’s analysis also found that the GHG emissions level in 2014 was more than the state’s mandatory 2020 GHG
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Forests and Climate Change – From Offsets to What?

In 1994 Greenpeace released a report called “The Carbon Bomb: Climate Change and the Fate of the Northern Boreal Forests”. The report warned that between 50 and 90 percent of the existing boreal forests were likely to disappear as a result of climate changes that would happen if atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide doubled. Warmer and drier conditions stress trees directly, as well as contributing to conditions that could lead to more frequent fires and pest outbreaks. If boreal forests continued to decline, they could release of up to 225 billion metric tons of extra carbon into the atmosphere, increasing
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Policy & Pinot: Greening Rhode Island’s Energy Grid

This month’s Policy & Pinot will focus on the state of the region’s energy grid, which has undergone dramatic changes. Older oil- and coal-fired power plants are retiring, while natural gas production is increasing. State laws requiring ambitious reductions in greenhouse gas emissions have been driving the shift toward cleaner energy from the sun, wind and water. Located at Save the Bay’s offices overlooking Narragansett Bay, and moderated by RIPR environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza, we’ll talk with our guest panelists about what the future grid could look like, how greener energy may impact consumers, and how Rhode Island’s progress compares
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Virtual Net Metering bill headed to governor’s desk

…With a special session expected next week, much is still unclear about the budget and its impact on clean-energy funding. The Acadia Center’s Connecticut Director William Dornbos said Thursday that his nonprofit remained concerned about whether a proposed raid of clean energy funds would end up in the final budget. That raid, originally proposed at $42 million, was reduced to just over $3 million recently. “…the raid, at any amount, still sets a bad policy precedent for future legislative sessions,” Dornbos said. “We are worried that these funds, which come from the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative,
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Should we promote heat pumps to save energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions?

…Additional energy would be saved from using heat pumps instead of gas furnaces in some important applications. Furthermore, multiple analysts (e.g., here and here) see electric heat pumps powered with clean electricity as an important strategy for displacing emissions from in-home combustion of fossil fuels…