Power over solar: R.I. seeks to strike a development balance

Among the other efforts are new incentives released last month by the Office of Energy Resources that include increasing funding for solar projects on former industrial sites, raising the cap in a key state renewable energy program for rooftop solar, and creating a class in the same program for solar carports installed in parking lots. Nearly everyone involved in the issue agrees that changes need to be made. “There absolutely is an urgency, and I think that it would be great if we had all of the solutions immediately,” said Erika Niedowski, policy advocate for the Acadia Center, an environmental
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How Big a Deal Is Trump’s Fuel Economy Rollback? For the Climate, Maybe the Biggest Yet

But pollution from cars and trucks has proved much trickier for states to take on. Transportation now accounts for one-third of America’s carbon-dioxide emissions, surpassing power plants as the largest source, and vehicle emissions have been steadily rising over the past few years. Federal fuel-economy standards were widely seen as a vital tool for curbing gasoline use. “We’ve seen nowhere near the same progress in transportation as we’ve seen in electricity,” said Jordan Stutt, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center, a group in New England that is pushing for cleaner energy. Read the full article from the New York Times
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White House Pollution Proposal Puts Big Government Ahead Of States’ Rights

“It’s gutting these foundational environmental laws,” said Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center, an environmental advocacy group. “Transportation is the biggest chunk of emissions that we’re trying to deal with right now. We’ve brought down emissions significantly in the electricity generating sector. We really need to be addressing transportation. So this is just a complete 180-reversal from where we need to be going.”

CT poised to catch brunt of Trump’s auto standard rollbacks

Area environmental groups wasted no time expressing their displeasure with the EPA proposal, warning of the dire consequences on Connecticut but also pointing out that the proposals now face a 60-day comment period and could change. “It certainly would be awful if it went through,” said Emily Lewis, a policy analyst at Acadia Center. “It would have a big impact on Connecticut emissions, but there are a lot of steps before we get to that point.” Read the full article from the CT Mirror here.

Law on governor’s desk helps renewables. But will it help climate?

Jordan Stutt, a policy analyst at the Acadia Center, a Boston-based environmental group, applauded the clean energy provisions of the legislation but said it represents a missed opportunity on transportation. “This is all happening while the federal government is rolling back clean car standards and potentially challenging the California waiver for zero-emission vehicles,” he said. “In light of that backwards trajectory from Washington D.C., we really need Massachusetts and other states in this region to become leaders on transportation.” Read the full article from E&E News here (article may be behind paywall).

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.