The traditional utility and power grid model of a one-way power flow from central generating stations to consumers is rapidly giving way to an exciting, consumer-friendly energy future. The system can be more cost-effective, cleaner, offer greater consumer control over energy costs and help clear the pathway to very low carbon emissions.

In Acadia Center’s vision of a modern grid, homes and businesses become the centerpiece of the energy system. Consumers will have greater control over energy use through technologies such as rooftop solar water heating and photovoltaic systems, advanced meters that help consumers control and monitor power usage, and technologies such as smart appliances and heat pumps. Community energy systems- local wind power, solar arrays, and combined heat and power- will also play an important role in the modern power grid. UtilityVision, an Acadia Center publication, presents this comprehensive vision with illustrations and recommendations. Acadia Center is also participating in grid modernization dockets and related state and regional proceedings and forums.

Technological advancement in the energy arena is moving so quickly that the market is ahead of the regulatory structure governing utilities. Today’s grid planning and investment policies were developed in an earlier era, when large fossil-fueled power plants were constructed to energize population centers. Longstanding policies skew decisions in favor of legacy power grid investments over newer, often less expensive and more advanced solutions. The rules need to change so that viable, often lower-cost, alternatives to transmission and distribution infrastructure projects are fully considered. New regulations should also reflect the appropriate role of the utility in an increasingly decentralized system.

Acadia Center is working to update policy models so they align utilities’ financial incentives with the public’s clean energy, carbon reduction, and economic goals.

 

  • Transportation Climate Policy in Rhode Island

    Rhode Island’s transportation system—its network of highways, trains, public transit, airports, ports, and walking and biking corridors—is vital to the state’s economy. It facilitates the movement of goods and connects people to jobs, shopping, recreation, and other services. However, the system needs critical improvements to address major challenges and better serve the state’s communities and businesses.

  • Acadia Center Summary of 2018 Clean Energy Legislation in MA Page 1

    Acadia Center Summary of 2018 Clean Energy Legislation in MA

    On July 31, 2018, the Massachusetts House and Senate passed H.4857, An Act to Advance Clean Energy. On August 9, 2018, Governor Baker signed this bill into law, now Chapter 227 of the Acts of 2018. This documents summarizes the legislation and key implications.

  • Assessing New York’s Proposed ‘New Efficiency’ Initiative

    In 2018, New York released a new energy efficiency strategy that centers on a 2025 energy savings target of 185 trillion British thermal units. Acadia Center analyzed this new target and its underlying initiatives to determine whether it would maximize energy efficiency's benefits for New York. Based on that analysis, Acadia Center offers four recommendations for strengthening the plan.

  • View all related resources