Massachusetts Energy Bill Lacks Provisions to Ensure Cost-Effective Clean Energy Transition
BOSTON — Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions, a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, issued the following statements regarding the energy bill (HB 4377) passed this week by the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
“The House of Representatives passed a bill that aims to grow the market for combinations of onshore wind, other class 1 renewables, hydro and the transmission to bring this competitive clean energy to the Commonwealth,” said NECEC Executive Vice President Janet Gail Besser, co-leader of ACES, “But the scale of the bill’s solicitation is insufficient to spur the private sector investment needed to capture the full cost reduction and economic development benefits of renewable energy sources, while the failure to include provisions that enable Class 1 RPS-eligible resources to compete on their own removes the most cost-effective source of renewable energy in today’s market from the equation.”
“The house bill takes steps toward clean energy but lacks the necessary scale and scope needed for a cost-effective clean energy transformation,” said Acadia Center Massachusetts Director Peter Shattuck. “The scale of procurement for offshore wind and other renewable energy sources is smaller than the need to replace retiring generation with clean energy sources and may limit the competitiveness of opportunity for new clean energy combinations.”
Below are amendments that ACES encourages the Senate to include in its version of the bill:
- An amendment that increases the size of the clean energy procurement.
- An amendment that enables Class 1 RPS-eligible resources (including on-shore wind) to compete in large scale clean energy procurement established by the bill, which will lead to greater competition, put downward pressure on prices, and allow a variety of renewable resources to bid.
- An energy storage amendment that would direct the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to develop a plan to implement an energy storage program in the Commonwealth. Energy storage is viewed as a game-changer. Its flexibility could solve problems related to integrating wind and solar energy and help grid operators manage resources more efficiently.
- An amendment to increase the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS), a statutory obligation that requires suppliers to obtain a percentage of the electricity they provide to customers from renewable resources. Since first being introduced, the RPS and similar laws in other New England states (and 29 states across the country) have helped to bring many renewable energy projects online, boosting the regional economy, diversifying our energy mix and mitigating the environmental impacts of electricity use and production. Massachusetts clean energy policy and adopting this amendment would make rising to the climate challenge that much more achievable.
“From where we sit, the complicated world of energy policy is actually very simple: we must continue to invest in clean energy in order to bolster our economy, mature a thriving industry and tackle climate change. We’re encouraged by the important progress made in the House yesterday and hope this issue, which is so vital to the future of our commonwealth, remains front and center in the State House as the end of the legislative session draws near.”
Phone: 617-742-0054 x107
Kate Plourd Johnson
The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) is a “coalition of coalitions” comprised of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, labor, health, and consumer advocates dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts. ACES is committed to ensuring that those charged with shaping Massachusetts’ energy policies have the most rigorous, current data on the benefits and costs of clean energy. Our goal is to ensure that the Commonwealth can attain a cost-effective, reliable and diverse energy supply to power its businesses, communities and households, which will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create a stable and prosperous business environment and meet the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions requirements. For more information: acesma.org
Members Include: Acadia Center, Alliance for Business Leadership, Climate Action Business Association, Clean Water Action, E4theFuture, Energy Storage Association, Environment Massachusetts, Environmental Entrepreneurs, Environmental League of Massachusetts, Health Care Without Harm, Mass Audubon, Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, Northeast Clean Energy Council, Northeast Energy Efficiency Council, RENEW Northeast, Solar Energy Business Association of New England, Union of Concerned Scientists, US Green Building Council Massachusetts Chapter, Vote Solar.