Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard

A boost is needed to help state meet emissions goals

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). This argument(...)

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Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II

Raise the Renewable Portfolio Standard II

Boost is needed to keep up with other states

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(...)

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FERC OKs help for Mystic plants

FERC OKs help for Mystic plants

Gas pipeline issue hovers over decision

THE FEDERAL ENERGY REGULATORY COMMISSION has given New England’s power grid operator until the end of August to come up with a plan to prop up a pair of uneconomic natural gas power plants in Everett and until July 2019 to develop a long-term approach to fuel security vulnerability in the region. The 3-2 decision,(...)

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Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Pacheco: Putting price on carbon is not a tax

Senate calls its proposal a market-based compliance system

SEN. MARC PACHECO wants to make clear that the energy bill the Senate passed on Thursday night did not include a carbon tax. Under the state’s constitution, he said, the Senate is not permitted to introduce a so-called money bill; legislation that raises or lowers taxes must originate in the House. He said the Senate(...)

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Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass.

Putting a price on carbon gains momentum in Mass.

Senate approves legislation, National Grid lends its support

CLARIFICATION: The original version of this story twice likened putting a price on carbon to putting a tax on carbon, but a sponsor of the legislation said it is not a tax. To read his point of view click here. MASSACHUSETTS MOVED CLOSER to embracing an economy-wide price on carbon, as the Senate approved an(...)

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Clouds over Mass. solar industry

Clouds over Mass. solar industry

Clear, bold leadership needed from Beacon Hill

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. What’s been dubbed a “solar revolution”(...)

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No 7th inning stretch needed, just clean energy home runs

No 7th inning stretch needed, just clean energy home runs

National Grid baseball analogy provokes strong response

This commentary was written by Joel Wool. I’VE NEVER BEEN A FAN of baseball metaphors. If we’re talking efficient use of energy rather than exercise or entertainment, it’s hard to see the utility of hitting a ball and running in circles. But since opponents of clean energy reforms have called for a “7th-inning stretch” to(...)

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On clean energy, we need a 7th inning stretch

On clean energy, we need a 7th inning stretch

Time to take stock of where we are and where we’re going

HERE IN MASSACHUSETTS we guard against exuberance and premature celebration.  We know no lead is safe at Fenway Park, that it’s wrong to put away snow shovels on March 1, or rejoice in dodging a single Route 1 pothole. But while reticence may be a welcome part of our New England DNA, self-reflection can often(...)

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Region’s power grid is changing dramatically

Region’s power grid is changing dramatically

Increase in solar reducing need for new pipelines

APRIL 21, 2018 was an historic date for the New England power grid: It was the first time that mid-day peak energy demand from the power grid was lower than typically low overnight demand. The reason for this historic first is the effectiveness of energy efficiency and the combined output of 130,000 small, medium, and large solar(...)

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Is Baker getting carried away with offshore wind?

Is Baker getting carried away with offshore wind?

Governor predicts ‘terrific pricing’ on Vineyard Wind contract

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER may have gotten a little carried away on Wednesday talking about the “terrific pricing” the state is going to get for offshore wind power. “People are going to be really surprised, I think, because the argument has always been, ‘Well, renewable and clean energy sources are great but, jeez, they’re more expensive.’(...)

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