Commentary: Maine’s renewable-energy industry gets a double shot in the arm

Opinion Major new solar and offshore wind projects help position us as a hub to start, grow and maintain energy businesses. Maine has incredible natural energy resources that can and should be an engine of its economy. New solar and offshore wind projects help position Maine as a hub to start, grow and maintain energy businesses in a global market. This week, Maine put out the welcome mat and opened the door to being a leader in clean energy. First, two solar development companies on both sides of the Atlantic joined forces to advance projects to generate 350 megawatts of renewable energy
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Stop investing in natural gas. Invest more in renewable energy.

Opinion With increasing renewable energy mandates in almost every New England state and growing amounts of imported power, there is only so much of the energy pie left for natural gas. Ten years ago, some might have called natural gas a “bridge fuel.” But it’s 2020. A better analogy is that we’re already halfway across the river. That’s based on the results of a recent study from Acadia Center, The Declining Role of Natural Gas Power in New England. It shows that new natural gas power plants like NTE Energy’s proposed plant near Killingly — and the pipelines to supply them —
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Massachusetts expands electric vehicle rebates to nonprofit, business fleets

Massachusetts has expanded its electric vehicle incentives to include nonprofit and business fleet vehicles, a move intended to maximize the environmental impact of the program at a time when a slumping economy has slowed vehicle sales across the state — and progress toward the state’s carbon emissions goals. “It’s a big step forward,” said Jordan Stutt, carbon programs director at the Acadia Center, a nonprofit focused on the clean energy economy. “There’s no pathway in which we hit our climate targets without rapid electrification of vehicle fleets.” … “We really need to be working to address equity directly in every
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Critics say Rhode Island report overlooks potential of heat pumps

That go-slow recommendation comes as some environmental groups are advocating for widespread heat pump adoption in the Northeast to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Acadia Center, for example, recently put out an overview of specific policy measures that states can put in place to develop the market for and accelerate the transition to heat pumps. Such programs are growing rapidly in the U.S., with current year budgets of nearly $110 million, a 70% increase over the prior year, according to the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. “We know that heat pumps are the most straightforwardly carbon-free way to heat
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Everett power plant does not have a place in a clean energy future

Letter to the Editor Exelon, the corporate owner of the Mystic Generating Station, wants to keep the fossil fuel-burning plant open beyond its scheduled 2024 retirement date, flying in the face of the future we must demand: a reliable energy grid centered on clean resources that benefit everyone (“Plan to keep using Everett power plant fuels climate, health fears,” Page A1, June 15). ISO New England, operator of the regional power grid, is already propping up the plant with hundreds of millions of ratepayer dollars, revealing a decision-making structure that perpetuates the status quo and ignores considerations of justice, equity,
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New England business groups make case to suspend energy efficiency surcharges

Clean energy advocates are pushing back against the proposal. Hank Webster, Rhode Island director at Acadia Center, said halting the programs would cause further harm to a sector that is already struggling as a result of a drop-off in home and business energy audits and efficiency improvements. Efficiency programs help drive down energy bills for all customers, regardless of whether they participate, by reducing demand and avoiding the costs of procuring additional supply, he said. … Webster said he suspects the business groups are appealing to lawmakers, rather than the state entities that oversee the programs and set the rates,
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Statement of Acadia Center

Acadia Center joins the millions of Americans outraged and saddened by the unending violence directed at people of color in this country. The brutal, callous murder of George Floyd – like so many others before him — must cause us all to meaningfully confront the endemic racism and inequalities that pervade our institutions and culture. Acadia Center is committed to fully participate and act with many partner groups and stakeholders. Our mission to build a clean energy future rises from a recognition that no solution is valid unless it contributes in a meaningful way to improving the lives of everyone,
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Transportation & Climate Initiative would be a win for Vermont

TCI is a cap-and-invest program similar to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) that Vermont participates in to reduce carbon pollution from electricity generation. In 2005, Republican Gov. Jim Douglas signed on together with six other Northeast states. Vermont is still a part of it today, and it has been successful in multiple ways. Analysis from Acadia Center shows that since 2008: GDP of the RGGI states has grown by 47%, outpacing growth in the rest of the country by 31%; Electricity prices in RGGI states have fallen by 5.7%, while prices have increased in the rest of the country by 8.6%;
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Amid coronavirus pandemic, air pollution declines in Boston and elsewhere

“We were expecting action on TCI soon, but at this point, given that governors’ attention is elsewhere, I think we’re unlikely to have an announcement this spring,” said Jordan Stutt, carbon programs director for the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group in Boston. Stutt remained optimistic that states will ultimately look to TCI with a “renewed sense of urgency,” as the program could serve as a source of much-needed revenue and jobs to a region with surging unemployment claims and depleted financial reserves. “It’s a public health program and an economic stimulus program wrapped in one,” he said. “The billions
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