Environment

No clean energy shell game

No clean energy shell game

Hydropower infrastructure can’t be built in a day

IN HIS COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE op-ed entitled “Quebec hydropower is ‘shell game,’” John Flynn misses the point about Hydro-Québec’s growth and export strategy. We are not taking clean energy from one region and sending it to another; we’re increasing our deliveries to all of our markets. Furthermore, we are continuing to build our generating fleet of clean,(...)

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Quebec hydropower is ‘shell game’

Quebec hydropower is ‘shell game’

It’s not new clean energy, so benefits are minimal

RON GERWATOWSKI’S OP-ED (“Price shouldn’t be sole focus of clean energy buys”) makes an essential point about clean-energy procurement. In the end, Massachusetts’ historic legislation to harness significantly more renewable energy will involve tradeoffs. But in highlighting the potential of hydropower, Gerwatowski ignores a crucially important distinction: Not all clean energy procurement is created equal.(...)

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Sorting out our perverse electricity markets

Sorting out our perverse electricity markets

Natural gas is getting a bum rap in renewables debate

THE RECENT ANNOUNCEMENT by developers of the Access Northeast natural gas pipeline that they are suspending the project until legislation allows for electric ratepayer financing of pipelines illustrates a major flaw in our electricity markets. A market structure that doesn’t incentivize natural gas power generators to subscribe to firm pipeline capacity, and federal open access(...)

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Health insurers, despite anxiety, are doing well 

Health insurers, despite anxiety, are doing well 

Profits up - in some cases way, way up - in 2d quarter

Daily newspaper headlines report that the nation’s health insurance companies are anxious about the future and may seek rate increases to protect themselves. Rate increases would seem logical, given uncertainty arising from paralysis in Congress and President Trump’s repeated threats to withhold Obamacare subsidies.  But a look at the recent financial filings of publicly traded health insurers shows that the high level of insurer anxiety is not arising from their(...)

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Price shouldn’t be sole focus of clean energy buys

Price shouldn’t be sole focus of clean energy buys

Procurements are about reducing greenhouse gas emissions

NEWS ITEM: Large-scale hydro-electricity from Hydro-Quebec may cost more than the average wholesale price of energy.  Should we be alarmed by this?  Not quite. But why not? First, some background.  Unless you have been living in Antarctica watching melting ice during the last year, you probably already know that the Massachusetts Legislature passed important energy(...)

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Northern Pass clears federal hurdle

Northern Pass clears federal hurdle

Environmental statement calls route ‘preferred alternative’

FEDERAL REGULATORS CLEARED THE WAY on Thursday for Eversource’s Northern Pass transmission project to receive one of the two permits necessary to begin construction of a line carrying hydroelectricity from Quebec to southern New Hampshire. The US Department of Energy issued a final environmental impact statement for Northern Pass, setting the stage for the award(...)

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Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power

Pricing hints on Hydro-Quebec power

Leaked Ontario contract indicates cost could be high

A LEAKED POWER CONTRACT between Hydro-Quebec and the province of Ontario may offer some insight into what kind of deal the utility is currently offering Massachusetts for hydro-electricity. The proposed contract, obtained by the French language publication La Presse, indicated Hydro-Quebec was offering Ontario a 20-year contract for 8 terawatt hours a year of electricity(...)

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Pick up the pace on clean energy

Pick up the pace on clean energy

State’s track record on contracting less than stellar

LOOK AND LISTEN, and you’ll see progress. Solar and wind power farms are cropping up across the landscape. Private sector investments are following good public policy, speeding the transition of our energy system from old, polluting fossil fuel power plants, to clean, renewable, job-creating sources like wind and solar. Momentum is building. Given the urgency(...)

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Offshore wind farm bids against hydro, onshore wind firms

Offshore wind farm bids against hydro, onshore wind firms

Deepwater Wind also proposes 40 megawatt Tesla storage

DEEPWATER WIND, one of a handful of companies expected to bid on an upcoming offshore wind power contract, revealed on Monday that it has also submitted three bids on a separate, massive clean energy contract. The bids are a shocker because no one expected an offshore wind company to compete for a contract against hydro-electric,(...)

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Cities and states must take lead on climate change

Cities and states must take lead on climate change

Policies can yield substantial health dividends

CLIMATE CHANGE CREATES risks that scientists have been warning about for decades. Fortunately, many actions that reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that drive climate change and hedge against longer-term risks can also benefit public health right now. Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions often go hand in hand with reductions in air pollutants with well-established relationships(...)

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