The Energy Consumer's Bulletin- a New England energy news blog

Electrifying cars, buses, and trucks will save lives. Why wait?

Posted by Mal Skowron on Monday, November 23, 2020 @ 10:14 AM

When we talk about the intersection of transportation and the environmentwe’re often talking about greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, that trap heat in the atmosphere and warm our climate. However, the combustion of fossil fuels also releases co-pollutants – like nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter – that form ozone and smog and make air unhealthy. Unlike greenhouse gases, which contribute to global climate change no matter where they’re released, co-pollutants have the biggest impact in the communities close to where they’re emitted.  

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change

We Need the Transportation & Climate Initiative and It Must Be Equitable.  Advocates and Governors, Let's Get it Done Right

Posted by Larry Chretien, Anna Vanderspek, Priscilla De La Cruz, & Mal Skowron on Thursday, October 01, 2020 @ 05:31 PM

There is so much happening these days it’s hard to track everything, but if you haven’t heard much about the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI), you will soon. It’s an idea that could result in a compact of 11-states (plus D.C.) in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic taddress transportation emissions. It would do so by setting a cap on emissions, a cap that declines over time. 

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change

Getting to 100% Renewable Energy in Rhode Island

Posted by Kai Salem & Larry Chretien on Monday, September 28, 2020 @ 07:38 PM

In January 2020, Governor Raimondo signed an Executive Order setting a goal of meeting Rhode Island electricity demand from 100% renewable sources by the end of the decade. Back in January, we wrote that we’re skeptical that another study will result in the action we need. Over six months later, where does Rhode Island stand on 100% renewable electricity?

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Tags: Renewable energy, Rhode Island, Climate change

Ending Gas-Powered Car Sales by 2035 is Doable

Posted by Mal Skowron on Friday, September 25, 2020 @ 05:10 PM

On Wednesday, September 23, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom of California issued an executive order that announced California would require all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state to be Zero-Emission vehicles (ZEVs) by 2035.  

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change

Larry went on the Energy Nerd Show to Talk about Smart Charging EVs

Posted by Larry Chretien on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 @ 08:00 AM

It’s imperative that we all switch from internal combustion engines to electric cars for several compelling reasons. The most important is that reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions enough to save the planet depends upon it. But what’s particularly exciting is: we can magnify the benefits of EVs by managing when we charge them.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change

We Saw A Peak: Will We See More?

Posted by Kai Salem & Yaima Braga on Saturday, August 01, 2020 @ 10:46 AM

Last month, we predicted that summer temperatures might drive high demand — high enough to cause a peak day! Indeed, despite the depressive effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on regional electricity demand, weeks that saw 90+ degree days across New England were enough for us to call peaks on July 20th, 27th, and 28th. A peak electricity demand day is a day on which extreme weather (usually hot temperatures) leads to a spike in electricity demand; these spikes are associated with more expensive and polluting electricity than usual.

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Climate change

The Violence of Pollution: The Injustice of Rolling Back Clean Air Protections

Posted by Paola Massoli on Thursday, July 02, 2020 @ 02:11 PM

It is mid-June 2020 and another day of unrest in America. As I scan the news, I learn that the environment has been under attack. Again. President Trump recently signed an executive order to dismantle the process requiring environmental reviews of large infrastructure projects, including oil and gas pipelines. I also learn that the administration is proposing restrictions that would further weaken air pollution controls. As I dig more, I find out that it could get a lot worse for clean water too.

Sadly, I am not surprised. It has been 4 years of chipping away at environmental protections; it’s a long list covering everything under the sun, from vehicle efficiency standards to wildlife protection. I shut down my laptop and step outside. I need fresh air.

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Tags: Energy policy & advocacy, Climate change

Shave the Peak in the Era of COVID: Summer is Coming

Posted by Kai Salem & Yaima Braga on Wednesday, June 24, 2020 @ 02:53 PM

Last month, we covered some of the impacts that COVID-19 and the resulting stay-at-home orders have had on our electric grid. This month, the pandemic has continued to drive low electricity demand and record low electricity prices. Even better, low demand and higher than ever solar production has led to a greener grid. But as temperatures rise and stay-at-home orders relax this summer, can we expect low demand, prices, and emissions to continue?

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Tags: Electricity and the grid, Energy efficiency, Climate change

Climate Change & Racism: Two Inconvenient Truths

Posted by Green Energy Consumers Alliance on Monday, June 08, 2020 @ 09:26 AM

For over one hundred years, the fossil fuels we’ve spewed into the sky have wreaked havoc on the planet. We can say with equal certitude that for over four hundred years, institutional racism has wreaked havoc on people of color.

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Tags: Climate change

The Road to Net-Zero is Paved by Electric Buses

Posted by Paola Massoli on Tuesday, May 19, 2020 @ 10:50 AM

Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Electric Vehicles

In a recent post, we refreshed the notion of why driving an electric car is a better choice for the environment, even in areas that rely on fossil fuels for most of their electricity generation: in one word, efficiency. An electric vehicle is 3-4 times better at converting energy to miles driven compared to a combustion engine. In New England, the average electric car emits 73% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than a gasoline car on a per-mile basis. The emission reductions are even greater in the Massachusetts communities – and soon Rhode Island communities – that have adopted the model of green municipal aggregation.

Furthermore, a recent European study has concluded that electric cars are a better option for climate in 95% of the world already on a lifecycle basis, which includes manufacturing and end-of-life processes. While battery production certainly has environmental impact, there is a growing number of applications to give batteries a second life, turning a conundrum into opportunity, further reducing waste.

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Tags: Electric vehicles/Transportation, Climate change