The following is the third blog in a trilogy. In early December, we explained the importance of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) and how they are used to quantify and track the green attributes associated with renewable electricity supplied to our grid. In late November, we explained how state renewable energy standards work to clean up the grid and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by requiring the addition of certain qualifying resources, particularly wind and solar. Another way to reduce emissions from the electricity sector is to enable electricity suppliers to purchase and deliver large quantities of hydro and offshore wind to the region. But delays could significantly undermine fulfillment of our clean energy and climate requirements.
Tags: renewable energy
Massachusetts lawmakers vote to pass H.4857, An act to advance clean energy. The final bill was released from conference committee late Monday afternoon.
With less than a month to go in the legislative session, several clean energy bills have yet to be decided. The following could use an extra push to get over the finish line.
Earlier this week, the Massachusetts Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change released a comprehensive omnibus energy bill, An act to promote a clean energy future: to protect our public health, create jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The bill is a compilation of several pieces of legislation filed this session, including the important RPS & the Appliance Efficiency Standards bills, but it also reflects public input provided during a series of Clean Energy Conversations that Committee Chair Marc Pacheco hosted throughout the spring and summer. Several of the bills have received favorable recommendations from the joint energy committee of the House and Senate (read more about this below).
With the closure of the Brayton Point, coal generation in MA is officially a thing of the past, but will it be replaced with a 21st century solution or more of the same?
May 31st marked the end of an era in Massachusetts when Brayton Point, the state’s last remaining coal-fired power plant closed. Located in Somerset, the 1500 MW plant was the largest coal-fired generator in New England. Its closure was first announced in 2013 with owners citing costs associated with maintaining the decades’ old facility and coal’s inability to compete economically with natural gas.
An Analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, prepared by Synapse Energy Economics and Sustainable Energy Advantage, demonstrates that increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard by 2% to 3% per year better positions the state to comply with the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA), while reducing costs to consumers and creating jobs.
The Mass Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is currently finalizing regulations aimed at achieving compliance with the May 2016 decision by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) and Executive Order 569 (EO 569) signed by Governor Baker in September. In this blog post, I provide an overview of the regulations that were proposed and what lies ahead as MA attempts to comply with its climate law.
Tags: environmental policy
Late Friday morning, Mass Energy joined policy makers and stakeholders at the Massachusetts State House to witness Governor Charlie Baker sign Executive Order 569: Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy. EO 569 directs members of the Baker administration to take steps to address climate mitigation and adaptation. Notably, the order sets August 11, 2017 as the date by which the Department of Environmental Protection must adopt regulations required to meet statewide GHG emissions reductions by 2020, in accordance with the mandates of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) Section 3d. Regulations establishing “declining annual aggregate emissions” for sources of greenhouse gases are several years past due. This failure to pass regulations as required by law is what prompted Mass Energy to join Conservation Law Foundation in its case against the Mass DEP, Kain v. Mass DEP, that was heard before the Supreme Judicial Court last winter and unanimously decided upon in May.
Our Clean Energy Director, Eugenia Gibbons, wrote an article debunking the Access Northeast letter to policymakers that is featured in Commonwealth Magazine today.
In light of SJC ruling, utilities withdraw petitions that would have allowed for pipeline tax.
This week Eversource and National Grid formally filed a motion to withdraw petitions seeking approval of long term gas capacity contracts related to the Access Northeast (ANE) Project by Spectra Energy. The hotly contested tax would have helped finance pipeline construction. This move came less than a week after the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) issued its decision finding the unprecedented cost-recovery scheme proposed by the utilities, which also happen to hold substantial financial interests in ANE, violates the 1997 Restructuring Act.