Make the Next Decade Count

Last month, young people around the world marched to demand action from decision makers. They echoed what thousands of the world’s climate scientists have concluded: only a short period of time remains — 10 years, from now until 2030 — for the world to reduce climate pollution by at least 45% from 2010 levels and shift to clean energy systems so the globe can avoid the worst impacts of a warming planet. For twenty years, Acadia Center has been accelerating strong state, local, and regional action to address climate pollution. Now, it will draw from its strengths in analysis, thought leadership, relationship building, and informed advocacy to meet these urgent climate deadlines and implement a refined strategy it calls Make the Next Decade Count TM. Make the Next Decade Count seeks to bring greater attention to the
Read More

Amendment to Transportation Bond Bill Could Support Modern Transportation Options and Carbon-Neutral Buildings

Governor Baker and many transportation advocates, including Acadia Center’s Jordan Stutt, went to Beacon Hill today to testify on the Governor’s proposed multi-year $18-billion transportation bond bill. The bill addresses a wide range of transportation funding needs—everything from financing for bridges to funds for bus shelters. One of the issues addressed by the bill is the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI), a cap-and-invest program under development that could generate hundreds of millions of dollars each year for clean transportation investment. Governor Baker’s bill would authorize up to 50% of TCI proceeds to support public transit. Acadia Center testified in support
Read More

Rhode Island Legislature Punts on Climate: Smart Siting Legislation Languishes

Several state legislatures in the Northeast have gone big on climate in recent weeks. New York passed a sweeping climate plan pledging to reach 100% carbon-free electricity by 2040 and net zero greenhouse gas emissions, across the whole economy, by 2050. Maine enacted legislation that doubles the amount of renewable electricity in its Renewable Portfolio Standard to 80% by 2030 and 100% by 2050. Connecticut authorized a massive boost to offshore wind—the construction of up to 2,000 megawatts. Not Rhode Island. Legislators in Rhode Island ended their six-month session late last month without passing any climate legislation at all. Several
Read More

Offshore Wind Makes Big Moves Across the Northeast Region

Two years ago, Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 examined the energy mix needed to achieve the Northeast’s 2030 decarbonization goals and determined that at least 13% of the region’s electricity needs could be served by the development of 9.5 GW of offshore wind. In New England and New York, Acadia Center has advocated for ambitious state procurement goals and these states have recently made incredible progress. Over the last three years, Northeast states have raised their collective 2035 offshore wind goals from 1.6 GW to 14.6 GW, and they may exceed the EnergyVision 2030 target if several of the projects are
Read More

Rhode Island Must Prioritize Solar Siting in 2019

Solar energy is growing in the Northeast, but the urgency of climate change means that states need to accelerate the transition to clean energy sources. In Rhode Island, siting challenges that have arisen in the past few years show that the state can’t do this without a plan. In a landscape patchworked with forest, farmland, and open space, policies and incentives must prioritize solar projects in areas with compatible land uses. On March 14, the House held a hearing for H5789, a solar siting bill that aims to address these challenges. The bill represents months of collaboration between conservation groups,
Read More

Maine’s Biggest Utility Must Change to Make Way for Clean Energy

Maine is at a crossroads in its climate and energy future. For the state to move forward and embrace a consumer-friendly, low-polluting clean energy future, its biggest utility, Central Maine Power (CMP), must dramatically change the way it does business and do much more to support consumer and community access to solar, wind, building weatherization, and clean technologies like electric vehicles and heat pumps. Up to this point, CMP has frequently blocked these measures. It is time for CMP to change. As a whole, Maine has struggled to make progress toward a clean energy future, falling behind its New England
Read More

A Regional Affair: Offshore Wind in Massachusetts Clears Hurdle in Rhode Island

Rhode Island has given its regulatory approval for the first large-scale wind farm to be built in the United States. This approval is a significant step forward for the project. Last year, Massachusetts selected a developer, Vineyard Wind, to build a wind farm for it in federal waters off the coast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Because Rhode Island fishermen operate in those waters, that state also had the opportunity to decide whether the project fits within its laws and interests. In its testimony on this question before Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC), Acadia Center reiterated the importance
Read More

Charging Ahead with Electric Buses in Rhode Island

Rhode Island and its Northeast neighbors have achieved great reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from power plants since joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in 2009. Unfortunately, emissions from transportation sources are not covered by RGGI and still comprise about 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in the state. Rhode Island needs to act urgently to reduce emissions from passenger, commercial, and public transportation fleets. Rhode Island has taken an exciting stride towards cleaner public transportation by leasing three 100% electric buses, slated to enter service in early 2019. The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) showcased the three
Read More

As solar grows in Rhode Island, so does the need for smart siting policies

One of Rhode Island’s newest renewable energy installations is being celebrated as a model of solar siting, repurposing contaminated land that is unlikely to be developed. The solar array’s 6,700 panels spread across 12 acres in North Providence that comprise an old landfill. The rapid expansion of renewable energy projects in Rhode Island – and across the region – is bringing new and pressing land-use challenges. Because of the urgent threat posed by climate change, it is important to accelerate the pace at which clean energy resources replace polluting fossil fuels. At the same time, we must protect Rhode Island’s
Read More

New York Must Expand Solar: How Does Its New Net Metering Process Fit in?

Since 1997, New York has allowed customers with certain types of distributed generation systems, including rooftop solar (sometimes referred to as “mass market” solar) and community solar, to participate in net metering. This simple billing method allows a customer’s consumption and generation to be “netted” at the end of every month. If a customer has consumed more energy from the grid than she has generated from her solar panels, she will pay for the net consumption. However, if a customer has generated more power than she has consumed, then that net generation will be rolled over into the next month’s
Read More