Planning ahead in the new year, Acadia Center continues our quest for new solutions to propel us toward a clean energy future, one that can drastically reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change. Looking Forward presents our long-term vision and the current initiatives underway to make that vision a reality.
It all starts with EnergyVision : the framework for a clean energy, low-carbon future focused on using advances in clean electricity – phasing out fossil fuels –to heat buildings and power cars. This clean energy future empowers consumers, lowers greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and increases economic productivity. EnergyVision demonstrates that reforms achieved simultaneously in four key sectors will help states reach 80% GHG emissions reductions by 2050 – a crucial target for addressing climate change.
To get there, Acadia Center researches, analyzes data and advocates—together with partners and stakeholders—in order to craft and implement needed policy reforms in four areas: electrification of vehicles and buildings; clean renewable energy; power grid modernization; and energy efficiency. We’re forging ahead and working on the ground to reach these specific goals:
- Reduce GHGs in the transportation sector on many fronts with the goal 10% of new passenger vehicle sales in New England to be electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles by 2020 and for transportation fuels sold in New England to be 10% less carbon intensive by 2020;
- Increase investments in high-efficiency electric heat will bring direct savings to consumers and will avoid the risk of over-reliance on fossil fuels and costly investments in transmission infrastructure or pipelines. We’ll continue to advocate efficiency programs that offer incentives to consumers and help increase adoption of cleaner, cost-effective technologies;
- Remove current barriers in the power grid and regulatory system that hinder increased renewable energy. We’ll work to strengthen and expand the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and update renewable portfolio standards (RPS) to increase demand for renewable resources. We must level the playing field so that renewable power can compete fairly and push for market-based solutions that put a price on pollution in order to drive emissions reductions;
- Develop and launch UtilityVision, a comprehensive, regulatory framework that will result in a fully integrated, flexible, low-carbon consumer-friendly energy network. With the right decisions and investments, consumers will have greater control over energy use within and around the buildings they occupy as homes and as businesses. And, this innovative framework put into practice could bring aggressive GHG reductions. (Stay tuned for more on UtilityVision coming soon.)
The transition to new, broadly electrified energy system that is low-carbon, efficient, and consumer-friendly is already moving forward. That future will be achieved more quickly as we adopt forward-looking policies, uproot outdated technologies and apply new ways of thinking about energy options throughout the year.