Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Challenging the status quo on electricity, heating

Challenging the status quo on electricity, heating

Conservation Law Foundation officials call for change

TWO TOP OFFICIALS with the Conservation Law Foundation say the region’s power grid operator and the state’s utilities are in some ways part of the problem instead of the solution to dealing with climate change. Greg Cunningham, the vice president and director of CLF’s clean energy and climate change program, and Caitlin Peale Sloan, the(...)

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1-20-21

Healey climate plan calls for cabinet czar

Sets ambitious electricity goals for grid, transportation

DEMOCRATIC GUBERNATORIAL candidate Maura Healey began to flesh out her policy positions on Tuesday by unveiling a climate change plan that calls for the appointment of cabinet-level official to oversee and coordinate the effort and sets ambitious goals for eliminating the use of fossil fuels in generating electricity and powering the MBTA. As the state’s(...)

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National Grid has new vision for heating

National Grid has new vision for heating

Plan relies on renewable natural gas, green hydrogen

THERE IS OVERWHELMING evidence the world is experiencing the impacts of climate change, and that we must move away from fossil fuels.  As an energy company serving millions of people in the Northeast (National Grid), and as an organization representing over 3,400 businesses in Massachusetts (AIM), we’re both deeply invested in not only assisting in(...)

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Senate passes climate bill, adds offshore wind boost

Senate passes climate bill, adds offshore wind boost

Amendment doubles the size of procurements over next decade

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE SENATORS TOOK a major step Thursday toward achieving the net-zero emissions target they already set for Massachusetts by approving a policy-heavy bill aimed at expanding the clean energy industry and reining in emissions from the transportation and building sectors. Nearly 12 hours after they kicked off debate, senators voted 37-3 on(...)

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Somerset political infighting continues

Somerset political infighting continues

State rep urges kindness as newcomer Vaught defeats Souza

VOTERS IN SOMERSET on Monday ousted from the Select Board a leader of the successful effort to shut down a controversial scrap metal export business at Brayton Point, a move suggesting the bitter political divisions within the community have not gone away. The scrap metal operation has dominated politics in the South Coast community for(...)

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The air traffic controller of electricity

The air traffic controller of electricity

Gordon van Welie is worried about keeping the lights on

GORDON VAN WELIE, the president and CEO of ISO-New England, says there are four pillars that support the regional power grid his organization oversees, and all four are showing signs of stress.  Pillar number one is renewable energy. With clean electricity the key to decarbonizing the transportation and heating sectors, van Welie says New England(...)

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Senate climate bill goes granular, ups electric vehicle rebates

Senate climate bill goes granular, ups electric vehicle rebates

Allows some municipalities to ban fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction

SENATE LEADERSHIP unveiled a very prescriptive $250 million climate change bill on Thursday that would direct Gov. Charlie Baker and his successor to boost rebates for zero emission vehicles, allow a small group of municipalities to ban the use of fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction, and set aside $100 million for investments in clean(...)

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Grid operator urges slower transition on renewables

Grid operator urges slower transition on renewables

Seeks approval from FERC for 2-year extension of pricing rule

THE NEW ENGLAND power grid operator filed a proposal with federal regulators on Monday seeking more time to come up with a system for incorporating clean energy into the region’s electricity markets. The grid operator, known as ISO-New England, asked the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for permission to put off until 2025 plans to do(...)

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Van Welie is wrong about natural gas

Van Welie is wrong about natural gas

Invasion of Ukraine makes grid policy shift even more vital

IN RESPONSE to Russia’s unjust invasion of Ukraine, the European Union announced it will rapidly accelerate its transition from natural gas – much of which it gets from Russia – to renewables. Reuters quotes EU climate policy chief Frans Timmermans saying, “It’s hard, bloody hard. But it’s possible.” What does this have to do with New England?(...)

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Offshore wind bill sails through House

Offshore wind bill sails through House

Baker calls bill 'round one' in Beacon Hill's energy debate

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE LEGISLATION THAT lawmakers hope will turbocharge the growing offshore wind industry in Massachusetts and help the state meet its climate commitments easily sailed through the House on Thursday, but Gov. Charlie Baker said he has “a bunch of concerns” with it and expects that it will serve as only a starting(...)

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