A summary of news highlights on the latest issues concerning clean energy solutions.
A crucial next step for Mass. clean energy (The Boston Globe, July 20, 2018)
Massachusetts’ selection of Vineyard Wind to develop the nation’s first major offshore wind farmis a huge step in the state’s move toward a cleaner energy system. We reached this point thanks to legislation from leaders at the State House, who understand both the environmental and economic benefits of building a robust clean energy industry here in the Commonwealth. But our success has been closely watched by other states, and our position as an industry leader will soon be challenged.
Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard (CommonWealth Magazine, July 15, 2018)
As the legislative session draws to an end, state lawmakers are considering bills that would increase the annual growth rate of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). As these proposals move ahead, it is important that decision-makers not be deterred by unsubstantiated claims made by opponents that an RPS increase is incompatible with procurements of hydroelectricity required by statute (Section 83D) or will undermine compliance with the state’s Clean Energy Standard (CES).
Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II (CommonWealth Magazine, July 15, 2018)
Wind has powered Massachusetts’ economic prosperity before, and it is poised to do so again. Two hundred years ago, whalers harnessed wind off the coasts of New Bedford, Cape Cod, and Cape Ann, charting a course for whale oil to light up our region and economy. Today, our communities are again racing into the wind as we compete with neighboring states to ensure the Commonwealth is at the forefront of a fast-growing clean energy industry.
Crafting a stronger clean energy future for Massachusetts (Watertown TAB, June 25, 2018)
Most beer enthusiasts know they’re drinking a blend of water, malt, hops and yeast when they have a pint with their friends. But when it comes to craft brewing, a fifth ingredient we don’t think about plays a big role in creating the beverages we enjoy: energy.
New Analysis Shows Economic Benefits of Massachusetts Clean Energy Legislation (NECEC, June 21, 2018)
Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations and health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, issued the following statement regarding the findings of the Applied Economics Clinic report, Massachusetts 2018 ‘Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future’ Analysis.
Massachusetts Senate passes ambitious clean energy bill (MassLive, June 18, 2018)
Massachusetts would run on 100-percent renewable power by 2047 under comprehensive energy legislation passed by the state Senate Thursday night. The idealistic goal would be reached by increasing the state's renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent every year, instead of the current 1 percent. The RPS dictates how much renewable energy electrical utilities such as Eversource and National Grid must buy.
Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions, a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations and health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, issued the following statements regarding the passage of An Act to Promote a Clean Energy Future by the Massachusetts Senate and the recent advancement of clean energy bills in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.
Economic Benefits of Offshore Wind in Clear View for Chamber, Business Leaders (Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy, June 13, 2018)
On a beautiful sunny day, 115 local chamber of commerce and business leaders recently got onboard a boat in Massachusetts for a 30-mile journey to tour America's first offshore wind project, the Block Island Wind Farm. With offshore wind development growing along the eastern seaboard, it was a fun opportunity for chamber leaders to learn about the tremendous economic benefits this new industry offers.
Clouds over Mass. solar industry (CommonWealth Magazine, June 12, 2018)
It's hard to believe that just a decade ago, seeing solar panels was a novelty in neighborhoods across Massachusetts. Today, that’s all changed. Solar projects are ubiquitous across the Commonwealth – from the rooftops of homes, schools, and office buildings to solar canopies in parking lots and community solar farms.
Climate disruption poses one of the greatest health risks of our time. As an institution committed to the health and wellness of our community, we believe that by tackling climate change, we have an opportunity to improve health outcomes, save money, and invest in a clean energy future.
Op Ed: Offshore Wind Competition Benefits Massachusetts (CapeCodToday, April 17, 2018)
Wind energy has powered the Massachusetts economy and commerce for centuries. Given this rich history, it comes as no surprise that today, an offshore wind industry is poised to power the “Blue Economy” movement that leverages water resources to realize sustainable economic growth.
Achieving the full potential of offshore wind in Massachusetts depends on two essential elements: multiple projects must move forward concurrently and the schedule for subsequent power purchase agreement solicitations must accelerate. These actions provide the best opportunity for the Commonwealth to maximize economic benefits, while growing the industry in a responsible, stable, and incremental but competitive manner.
Go bigger with offshore wind procurement (CommonWealth Magazine, April 8, 2018)
In recent months, the Baker administration has taken several important steps toward a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, including bold initiatives to accelerate large-scale clean energy as enabled by the 2016 Energy Diversity Act. Beyond the state’s recent clean energy procurement, which considered hydro imports, onshore wind projects, and transmission siting, there is a monumental opportunity to diversify the Commonwealth’s energy mix just over the horizon. That opportunity is offshore wind, which over the last decade has taken off in northern Europe–a region with similar wind and ocean resources to the northeast United States.
Mass. Can Learn From The Business Community’s Clean Energy Leadership (WGBH, March 30, 2018)
Massachusetts is a national hub for innovation in the technology, healthcare, and clean energy sectors. From world-class universities to a rapidly growing biotechnology industry and unparalleled healthcare sector, Bay State businesses and institutions are on the cutting edge. So, it comes as no surprise that a growing number of companies are investing in the rapidly growing clean energy sector and powering their operations with renewable energy and energy efficiency. As the businesses community embraces clean energy, Massachusetts must do its part to keep pace and strengthen the Commonwealth’s clean energy policies this legislative session.
State can be a clean energy leader (Hartford Business Journal, March 12, 2018)
Viewers of January's State of the Union address need not look beyond references to a so-called "war on clean coal" to know that renewable energy is not a priority for the Trump administration. In the midst of federal inaction on growing our clean energy economy and combatting climate change, states across the country have an opportunity to lead on these issues. Connecticut is one of them.
After the Storm: Building our green and clean energy future (Guest viewpoint) (MassLive, March 7, 2018)
For the second time this year, a storm has come to Massachusetts and produced high tides that surpassed the Blizzard of '78, with widespread coastal damage as the result of what should have been a once-in-a-century storm. Climate change isn't an abstract concept any more. We can see it with our very own eyes in the form of widespread power outages, closed T stations, downed trees and power lines, and flooded streets. Though the threat of climate change is global, the impact is local. It's time to do more right here in Massachusetts.
Utility rate design needs reform (CommonWealth Magazine, March 1, 2018)
On January 5, 2018, the Department of Public Utilities approved two significant changes to rate design proposed by Eversource: (1) a new set of complex and unmanageable rates for new solar customers starting at the end of 2018 and (2) elimination of residential on-peak/off peak rates. Current practices around electricity rate design — the structure of prices that consumers pay for electricity — have many advantages but also several downsides.
Time to part ways with traditional utility business model (CommonWealth Magazine, February 28, 2018)
In January 2017, Eversource filed its first complete rate case in many years, including proposals for higher annual revenues, a new utility revenue model, significant changes to rate design, and $400 million in future investments. On November 30, 2017, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) issued an order that moves the Commonwealth backwards, with unnecessarily higher costs for consumers and away from utility business model reforms to better serve customers in a clean energy future.
Mass. dragging its feet on grid modernization (CommonWealth Magazine, February 26, 2018)
Massachusetts initiated grid modernization and utility reform efforts even before New York, but has lagged in advancing them. Six years ago, in 2012, the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) opened a proceeding on the subject, and it issued three key orders in 2014. Progress stalled in 2015 following the 2014 gubernatorial election and the change in administrations.
Clouds form over state’s solar future (Cape Cod Times, February 25, 2018)
Earlier this month, Gov. Charlie Baker and the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs celebrated what they called a “Solar Milestone,” the installation of more than 2,000 megawatts of solar electricity from 79,000 projects across the state.
Decisive action needed on Northern Pass (CommonWealth Magazine, February 14, 2018)
Friday's news of a stalemate among the Commonwealth’s utilities about what to do next regarding the denial of a crucial siting permit for Northern Pass highlights the shortcomings of the state’s procurement process and emphasis on the role of the utilities as key decision-makers in the selection of a winning bid. As Attorney General Maura Healey argued in a letter last week, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the independent evaluator must play a more active role in the selection process to ensure that the resulting procurement is fair, transparent, and the best deal for the Commonwealth.
Senate committee advances ambitious Massachusetts clean energy bill (MassLive, February 13, 2018)
A Massachusetts Senate committee has released a bill that reads like a wish-list for clean energy advocates.
The bill sets more ambitious environmental and regulatory standards, bans fracking in Massachusetts, prohibits residents from being taxed for new natural gas pipelines, eliminates a cap on reimbursements for solar projects and sets the stage for carbon pricing.
Businesses want stronger clean energy mandates (CommonWealth Magazine, January 2, 2018)
For centuries, Massachusetts has been a national hub for innovation. With cutting edge academic institutions, a superb health care sector, and a thriving real estate market, the commonwealth is an excellent place to do business. Massachusetts is also home to a rapidly growing clean energy sector, which has allowed commercial real estate service providers like JLL to access renewable energy and energy efficiency solutions for our business and our clients.
State government grants totaling $20 million are being handed out Thursday to grow an energy storage market that has the potential to reshape the power landscape and deliver new benefits to ratepayers. Energy storage can help meet peak demand power requirements, enable the storage of weather-dependent clean energy, provide power during traditional outages, and increase the reliability of the electric grid, officials say. The grants, they say, will facilitate the growth of still-developing storage technologies such as batteries, flywheels, thermal storage and pumped hydroelectric storage.
Big business should watch this tiny state's power transformation (GreenBiz, November 29, 2017)
The state of Rhode Island just released a report on a proposed new utility regulatory model that will unleash innovative clean energy solutions sought by a rapidly growing market. The proposed regulatory approach, established through Rhode Island’s Power Sector Transformation initiative, has potentially broad-reaching implications. Because over 30 states are looking at modernizing their power grids, what happens in Rhode Island — which is relatively advanced in the regulatory conversation — has the potential to affect utilities, customers, businesses and innovative energy solutions providers across the country.
A vibrant economy fueled by clean energy resources should add to Massachusetts’ appeal as Amazon evaluates proposals for its second North
American headquarters. Amazon, which recently opened a massive wind farm in Texas, is one of hundreds of businesses around the country committed to powering itself through renewable energy today and for the long term. States and municipalities with ambitious renewable energy goals are attractive for sustainability-minded companies looking for cost-effective, stable energy prices to support their growth, while also doing their part for the environment.
They’re Building The Sustainable Urban Future Near Boston (The Huffington Post, October 18, 2017)
Currently, Massachusetts utility companies have to purchase only 12 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources, such as solar, wind and hydro. Activists are pushing a bill that would require an increase of at least 3 percent per year to get the state to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, with the ultimate goal being 100 percent renewable energy for electricity, heating and transportation by 2050.
Lawmakers Debate How To Attract More Renewable Energy In Mass. (WAMC, October 17, 2017)
Massachusetts lawmakers are debating whether to increase the amount utility companies pay of their annual electricity sales from renewable sources to the state. Massachusetts and 29 other states, including the entire Northeast, have a policy on Renewable Portfolio Standards. RPSs are a way for the clean energy market to gauge state interest and support for renewable energy development.
Talking Points: Renewable push (The Boston Globe, September 18, 2017)
Most businesses aren’t eager to raise their electric costs. But a coalition of companies issued a letter in support of increasing the renewable energy requirements for the state’s electric utilities and suppliers. The general sentiment from these companies -- a group that includes Audodesk, Legal Sea Foods and New Balance -- is that the economic and environmental benefits outweigh the extra costs expected from buying from renewable sources. The goal is to get 50 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
A group of Massachusetts businesses are calling on state lawmakers to support an increase of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to achieve 50 percent renewable energy supply by 2030. Autodesk, Ikea, JLL, Legal Sea Foods, and New Balance are among the businesses calling for more renewable energy in a letter delivered to lawmakers. The call comes as Massachusetts lawmakers prepare for a hearing next week on several pieces of legislation that would increase the RPS.
To the Editor: Clean energy is good for business (Boston Business Journal, August 25, 2017)
Industry experts are speaking loud and clear that the path to success is in increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, and data shows it’s true.
Our Opinion: Seeking right balance in curbing emissions (The Berkshire Eagle, August 13, 2017)
Massachusetts, to its credit, is serious about reducing the carbon emissions that are fueling climate change. The new standards issued Friday by the administration of Governor Baker should help Massachusetts make strides in that ongoing effort. A year ago, the state Supreme Judicial Court agreed with environmentalists in ruling that the state was not doing enough to comply with the state 2008 Global Warming Act. The governor's response Friday to the SJC decision was criticized as insufficient by environmentalists, while the electricity industry said it was unfair and counterproductive. This is a difficult balance to strike, and the dual responses suggests that the governor may have succeeded in threading the needle.
A Roundup of New England Legislative Action on Clean Energy (WCAI, August 7, 2017)
When the U.S. withdrew from the Paris Climate Accord in June, it marked a pause in federal action on clean energy. But individual states have already been taking the lead in this area for some time. The Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) has just put together a wrap-up of legislation that has come out of the 2017 sessions in the six New England States. In Massachusetts, about 100 energy-related bills were filed in the last legislative session.
Massachusetts must fill void left by U.S. withdrawal from Paris Agreement (Guest viewpoint) (MassLive, July 27, 2017)
Since President Trump announced his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord, business leaders, environmental organizations and public officials across the nation have expressed concern for the impact on our climate and economy. The momentum we've achieved in building our nation's renewable and clean energy sector must now be picked up by forward-looking states, cities and businesses around the country. Massachusetts is in a unique position to be a leader in this effort.
Berkshire's Key Role In Renewable Energy (WAMC, July 27, 2017)
Berkshire County could play a key economic role in renewable energy efforts in Massachusetts.
A recent report from the Northeast Clean Energy Council says increasing the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard would diversify the region’s energy sources, lower wholesale electricity prices, create new jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Your View: Let’s make New Bedford the U.S. center for offshore wind (SouthCoast Today, July 23, 2017)
Up and down the eastern seaboard, states are competing to attract new investments in offshore wind. Rhode Island is home to the first offshore wind farm in the country. Maryland recently approved two offshore projects. Other states, from Maine to the Carolinas, are competing to be the center of the nation’s new offshore wind industry, which has the potential to generate approximately $680 million in annual property tax payments, as well as support approximately 160,000 jobs by 2050, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Energy and Department of the Interior.
State's industrial areas move towards renewables (Worcester Business Journal, June 29, 2017)
The Blackstone Valley bills itself as the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, and New Bedford was once a major producer of the whale oil used in lamps and candles. Now, business groups in those areas are asking lawmakers to boost the state's commitment to renewable energy, arguing that clean power can be the modern-day economic driver for their regions.
The upside of renewables (CommonWealth Magazine, June 21, 2017)
A Commonwealth opinion piece (“The downside of renewables”) published on May 11 provided a flawed argument against renewable energy and its implications for the New England electricity grid by picking and choosing facts from European countries that are decades ahead of the US in the clean energy transition. We should learn from the successes and failures of other countries as we transition to a clean energy economy.
The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition composed of diverse organizations dedicated to advancing clean, affordable and reliable energy for Massachusetts, announced its legislative priorities today as the Massachusetts Legislature begins hearing testimony on several key energy bills. These priorities will facilitate clean energy development, reduce climate pollution and its associated health impacts, protect consumers, enhance economic growth and encourage innovation.
Can Massachusetts use Rhode Island as a model for change? (Energy Central, June 4, 2017)
Can Massachusetts use Rhode Island as a model for change? In 2016, Rhode Island passed a law to increase the state's Renewable Energy Standard to 38.5 percent by 2035. Governor, Gina Raimondo announced a goal to reach 1,000MW of clean energy supply and double the number of energy jobs by 2020.
Recent Study Shows Supply Will Exceed Demand in Massachusetts (Energy Central, May 25, 2017)
A recent study completed by NECEC revealed a significant problem with the Commonwealth’s current renewable energy plans and policies. NECEC, the Northeast Clean Energy Council (a nonprofit business member organization) and NECEC Institute (a nonprofit focused in industry research, innovation, policy development and communications initiatives) discovered an imbalance between supply and demand. According to the study, under base case assumptions, without changes to the Renewable Portfolio Standards policy, CO2 emissions would decrease but supply will continue to exceed the demand for Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).
Reduce Risk, Increase Benefits: More Energy Progress for Massachusetts? (Union of Concerned Scientists, May 16, 2017)
A new analysis shows how strengthening a key Massachusetts energy policy can create jobs, cut pollution, and manage risks. Here are 5 questions (and answers) about what’s at stake and what the study tells us. The study, prepared for the Northeast Clean Energy Council (NECEC) in partnership with Mass Energy Consumers Alliance, was carried out by two leading Massachusetts-based energy consulting firms, Synapse Energy Economics and Sustainable Energy Advantage (SEA). (UCS was part of an advisory working group providing input on assumptions and analytical approaches.)
A new report released by NECEC (the Northeast Clean Energy Council and the NECEC Institute), finds that increasing the Commonwealth’s annual Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) growth rate would help Massachusetts diversify the region’s energy sources, lower wholesale electricity prices, create new jobs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. RPS policies are the foundation of clean energy markets and a proven policy tool to support cost-effective renewable energy development in 29 states and Washington, D.C.
Talking Points: Chesto means business – Energy heats up State House again (The Boston Globe, May 3, 2017)
For the region’s renewable energy industry, it’s time to wrap up some unfinished business. The Legislature passed a major energy bill last summer packed with requirements for utilities to buy power from Canadian dams and wind farm developers. But there was one thing the clean-tech crew lost in the final negotiations: a measure that would speed up the pace of requirements for buying renewable energy.
Leaders of the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, health and consumer representatives dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts, applauded the Massachusetts Legislature for passing An Act to Promote Energy Diversity this weekend and call upon Governor Charlie Baker to sign the comprehensive energy legislation into law to ensure Massachusetts remains on its path towards a clean energy future.
ACES members provided comments to the Conference Committee appointed to reconcile differences in Massachusetts energy bills passed by the House (H4385) and Senate (S2400.)
Clean Energy Leaders Applaud Groundbreaking Energy Bill Passed by Senate (NECEC, July 1, 2016)
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 comprehensive energy bill (S2372) passed this week by the Massachusetts Senate.
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.
Nearly 20 environmental, clean energy industry, business, consumer, and health groups announced the creation of a coalition named the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES acesma.org). The alliance consists of a wide variety of organizations seeking to ensure that Massachusetts enacts long-term policies that will drive clean, affordable & reliable energy.