Archive

Clean Energy

Energy production is one of the leading contributors to climate change. Meanwhile, the potential for additional renewable energy in the region is enormous – both for larger generating stations like wind farms to small, distributed systems like rooftop solar. The costs of renewable energy are dropping rapidly, making renewables more affordable and viable for the consumer market.

Acadia Center advances policies that level the playing field so renewable power can fairly compete and flourish. Distributed energy resources such as rooftop solar produce clean energy while enhancing customer control over energy bills and reducing the need for polluting power plants and grid infrastructure. Acadia Center’s Next Generation Solar Framework provides a sustainable policy approach that compensates solar based on demonstrated value, while ensure equitable payment for maintenance of the grid.

More broadly, policies like renewable portfolio standards (RPS) provide incentives for clean energy options, allowing competition with fossil fuel-based energy that has the incumbent market advantage. Large-scale purchases can also help to promote deployment of renewable energy by achieving economies of scale and facilitating project financing and construction of transmission needed to transport renewable energy from remote locations to consumers.

Acadia Center also advocates market-based solutions that account for the climate impacts of burning fuels by charging a fee for releasing CO2 into the atmosphere. In the Northeast, this model has been successfully applied in the power sector through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI has helped Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states reduce power plant emissions significantly while generating economic and health benefits in the region, and this effective model can and should be exported to other states, and to cover additional sectors such as transportation and heating fuels. Emissions reductions can also be achieved by placing a direct price on pollution through a carbon fee that promotes changes in behavior and levels the playing field for cleaner energy supplies.

Throughout the energy system, from large-scale generating facilities to small-scale, customer-sited power sources, policies need to account for the full value of different types of energy resources. Using this information, leaders need to commit to using the cleanest affordable options. That means considering all of our energy options rather than defaulting to large, supply-side infrastructure. It also means fully accounting for lifecycle emissions, and assessing how efficiency can reduce demand. In homes and businesses, increasing access to advanced renewable thermal technologies through energy efficiency retrofits and building codes will make it easier for consumers to adopt clean fuels and save on their energy bills. Advanced cold-climate heat pumps, solar thermal, and low-emission, sustainably sourced biomass can reduce GHG emissions and decrease our reliance on imported fossil fuels.

Cutting emissions from vehicles, travel, and freight is closely related to clean energy supply strategies. See our Transportation initiative for more.

 

Clean Heating Pathways

CLEAN Center

Acadia’s CLEAN Center maintains one of the most comprehensive collections of energy and emissions information in the region. It draws on multiple sources which are cross-referenced and updated regularly to ensure analyses are in-depth, accurate and timely. Data on economic impacts and benefits, emission trends, and comparative costs is a powerful tool to advance climate and energy initiatives.

The CLEAN Center presents data in accessible, targeted materials. Acadia Center’s staff engages with a wide range of audiences and issues, so they know what information is needed, and the most effective ways to present it. The CLEAN Center maintains up-to-date data sets on energy usage, fuel prices, weather trends, and many other critical variables. Staff are constantly improving and re-shaping the analyses and work products to meet the latest needs.

Acadia CLEAN Center materials answer questions like: How can we get to 80% emissions reductions by 2050? What are the comparative emissions and economic impacts of importing tar sands derived oil versus cleaner alternatives? How much money and fuel are saved by driving electric vehicles, both now and in the future? What will business as usual energy consumption and costs look like for the state of Rhode Island, with the current policy mix?

Modeling and analysis capabilities include: macroeconomic and econometric modeling, emissions inventory construction, energy and emissions forecasting, statistical analysis, spatial analysis, energy cost/consumption/emissions scenario analysis, and energy system optimization. The team creates visualizations, graphs, reports, trackers, analyses, maps, and more.

Acadia’s CLEAN Center fields requests from other advocates and community groups, media, state and local government, business and industry reps, and more. The organization’s materials have a strong reputation for being fair, credible and effective.

Assessing New York’s Proposed ‘New Efficiency’ Initiative

Grid Modernization and Utility Reform Policy Options

An Energy Efficiency Proposal for New York

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide

To view the Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for each state in a reader format, please click the links below.

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for Connecticut

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for Maine

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for Massachusetts

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for New Hampshire

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for New York

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for Rhode Island

Community|EnergyVision Action Guide for Vermont

Joint Principles on Residential Fixed Charges in New York

Outpacing the Nation: RGGI’s Environmental and Economic Success

Residential Fixed Charges in New York