MA Legislature Takes Measured Step Forward on Clean Energy

Further Action Will Be Required to Address New and Unresolved Issues BOSTON – Yesterday evening, a conference committee of the Massachusetts House and Senate released a compromise clean energy bill, H.4857, which is expected to pass both chambers of the legislature today. The bill enacts several key policies for supporting clean energy in the Commonwealth and represents a significant accomplishment by the legislature, but it falls short in other areas that are equally necessary for swift progress toward clean energy goals. “The compromise bill takes measured steps forward that will enhance Massachusetts’ ability to meet its climate commitments, but future
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In Northeast, net metering in flux as states look to reform solar policy

“I’m willing to say it’s OK if you get out in front of it a little bit. It’s not the end of the world,” said Mark LeBel, a staff attorney with the regional environmental advocacy group Acadia Center. But self-consumption of electricity — owning, storing and using your own generation — needs to be protected. “That’s the future,” LeBel said. Read the full article from Energy News here.

CT’s natural gas expansion plan well behind schedule

While utilities are still gung-ho on natural gas conversions, Emily Lewis, policy analyst at the nonprofit Acadia Center, says Connecticut should shift its incentives away from the heating fuel and toward heat pumps, which in colder months capture outdoor heat energy and transfer it inside a home or building. Technological improvements in heat pumps have made them more efficient than natural gas heat in many instances, she said, as well as more effective in cold winters. And according to Acadia’s projections, Connecticut simply cannot meet its emissions-reduction targets over the next three decades without a big increase in the number
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Op-Ed: Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

“As the legislative session draws to an end, state lawmakers are considering bills that would increase the annual growth rate of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). As these proposals move ahead, it is important that decision-makers not be deterred by unsubstantiated claims made by opponents that an RPS increase is incompatible with procurements of hydroelectricity required by statute (Section 83D) or will undermine compliance with the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES). This argument against an increase is a red herring based on a mischaracterization of the relationship between clean energy policies designed to fulfill different, but complementary objectives.” Read the full article from CommonWealth Magazine here.

Pacheco: ‘No excuse’ for House not to act on energy bill

Last week, the Northeast Clean Energy Council and the Acadia Center — organizations that co-chair the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions — sent a letter to Golden, Sanchez and other members of House leadership, calling it “essential” that the House approve four bills: H 4575 to increase renewable energy and reduce high-cost peak hours; H 4576 to increase grid resiliency through energy storage; H 4577 relative to net metering; and H 1724 relative to energy efficiency. “These four bills would greatly advance Massachusetts’ clean energy leadership and deliver economic, energy, environmental, and health benefits to residents, businesses and industries across
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‘RGGI for transportation’ could be in the works in Massachusetts

Jordan Stutt, director of the carbon program at the Acadia Center, a Boston nonprofit that promotes clean energy solutions, is glad to see the discussion focusing on ways to invest carbon pricing revenue to needed projects. Even a charge of $10 per ton on transportation-related carbon emissions would generate close to $300 million, much of which could be used for much-needed improvements in the state’s transit system, he said. “It’s not enough to completely replace the need for other funding, but it’s enough to make some real progress,” he said. Read the full article from Energy News here.