Your View: Forum to show clean energy choices are accessible

The energy landscape is changing. Massachusetts and the SouthCoast are facing critical choices about their energy future. Large power plants are closing, gas pipelines are being proposed, and new clean energy technologies are emerging. SouthCoast is disproportionately affected by these changes: the closing of Brayton Point coal plant, the potential construction of pipeline and storage tanks in our communities, and developing off-shore wind and solar. Decisions are being made right now at the Statehouse about the design of our future energy system, and these decisions affect your wallet, your health, and your community. What role can you play in these
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CT deals seen as linchpin for ‘Access Northeast’

Connecticut’s emissions hit a low point in 2012, dipping beneath a carbon emissions pledge made in 2008, but it rose above that line in the three years that followed, according to a recent data analysis by the Acadia Center, which cited a number of causes that the state has little control over, including low gasoline prices and economic recovery. “While it is too soon to predict with certainty whether Connecticut will meet its mandatory 2020 GHG emissions cap, implementing additional short-term mitigation measures will increase the likelihood of doing so,” Acadia said in its report this month. The nonprofit has
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Connecticut Passes Legislation to Promote Electric Vehicles! Will Massachusetts Be Next?

Over the past five years, plug-in electric vehicles (EVs) have gone from a cool concept to a real option for vehicle buyers, with almost 440,000 sold nationally through April 2016. Consumer rebate programs have been a big part of this success, beginning in Massachusetts in June 2014, in Connecticut in May 2015, and in Rhode Island in January 2016. Recently, New York included a provision in their 2016 budget to create a consumer rebate program as well. However, advances in a number of policy areas are needed to allow electric vehicles to make significant inroads with mainstream consumers and take
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Energy forum to spark discussion Wednesday night at GNB Voc-Tech

All of those topics and others will be on the table at Wednesday’s free forum, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational-Technical High School on Ashley Boulevard. The forum is a collaborative effort between the Marion Institute; Acadia Center, a nonprofit, multi-state organization that advocates for the development of clean energy; and other partners. Panelists include Milkman; Claire Miller, lead community organizer for the Toxics Action Center; Roger Cabral, of South Coast Neighbors United; and Peter Shattuck, clean energy director for Acadia Center’s Massachusetts office.

Enviros say tougher RGGI caps are worth the price tag

While some states may be hesitant to sign on to those goals, the Sierra Club and the Acadia Center say the far higher emissions reductions would be worth the money. Peter Shattuck, clean energy initiative director for Acadia Center, said while RGGI electricity prices could be $6 higher with the harder goals, emissions reductions would be three times bigger — looking like almost 20 million tons more of carbon per year. “You can get much more of a reach at lower cost than I think folks would often assume,” Shattuck said.

Skyrocketing Transmission Costs and the Need for Reform

Concern that electricity prices in New England are too high is constant. Yet, a key cause of increasing prices is usually ignored: the high cost of transmission lines built to meet infrequent periods of peak electric demand. Over the last 15 years, charges for this reliability-focused transmission have skyrocketed and continue to climb. Since 2002, consumers have footed the bill for $12 billion in projects in New England, where transmission spending is relatively higher than in the rest of the country and steadily growing. Costs are passed directly on to ratepayers, causing electric prices to increase and raising consumer bills.
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Utilities seek cut of hydro, wind contracts

Peter Shattuck, Massachusetts director at the Acadia Center, an energy advocacy group, said the utility fee seems high considering National Grid and Eversource might play a role in building the transmission lines that will deliver the power. Eversource, for example, is partnering with Hydro-Quebec on the Northern Pass transmission line down from Canada. National Grid is involved with the Green Line in Vermont. “The bonus incentives seem excessive given that utilities can get a return of 10 percent or more on the transmission to bring hydro and wind online,” Shattuck said.

Op-Ed: House energy bill must be scaled up

In the next two months, Massachusetts has the opportunity to reorient the energy system away from risky over-reliance on fossil fuels and toward a stable clean energy future. The opportunity is created by two trends upending the electric power sector. First, aging power plants have become increasingly uneconomical, prompting a turnover of almost one-third of the region’s power generation. Second, costs for renewable energy have plummeted, offering the potential to retool with clean energy at competitive, stable prices. Read full piece here.

Massachusetts Energy Bill Lacks Provisions to Ensure Cost-Effective Clean Energy Transition

BOSTON — Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions, a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, issued the following statements regarding the energy bill (HB 4377) passed this week by the Massachusetts House of Representatives. “The House of Representatives passed a bill that aims to grow the market for combinations of onshore wind, other class 1 renewables, hydro and the transmission to bring this competitive clean energy to the Commonwealth,” said NECEC Executive Vice President Janet Gail Besser, co-leader of ACES, “But the scale of
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Why Boston was chosen for the next US-China climate summit

A conference of this scale “really cements Massachusetts’ reputation as a clean energy leader,” Peter Shattuck, director of Acadia Center’s Massachusetts’ branch, tells The Boston Globe. “It puts Massachusetts companies on display.”