Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

The downside of renewables

The downside of renewables

Germany is experiencing rising costs, more coal use

MUCH HAS BEEN WRITTEN about New England’s electricity markets and the distortions caused by policy makers. There are many lessons that elected officials and bureaucrats can learn by looking overseas at several countries that are going “all in” on renewable power. The results are not good, at least if you are a major employer, manufacturer,(...)

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Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power

Utilities unveil RFP for offshore wind power

Procurement, as drafted, wouldn’t be complete until late 2018

THE STATE’S UTILITIES on Monday set in motion a first-of-its-kind procurement for 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind power by asking Massachusetts regulators to approve a bid process that gives companies some flexibility in setting the size of their projects while requiring them to price out two very different approaches to delivering the electricity to the(...)

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Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing

Eversource electric vehicle proposal worth pursuing

Unfortunately, it’s being overshadowed by rate hike request

RECENT ACCOUNTS OF THE EVERSOURCE rate case have understandably focused on the utility’s request for a controversial rate increase. However, at risk of getting lost in the shuffle is a modest proposal within the larger rate case for electric vehicle infrastructure that, if further refined, could be a win-win-win for the environment, consumers, and utilities.(...)

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MA should finance climate change projects abroad

MA should finance climate change projects abroad

Barrett bill would allow tax refunds to go to UN fund

BY PROPOSING TO SLASH FEDERAL SPENDING to combat climate change, President Trump has declared war on our ability to deal with a very real, existential global problem that cannot be solved by building walls.  As Washington abrogates its leadership both at home and abroad, states and cities must step up on both.  Globally, the poorest(...)

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Natural gas shouldn’t be the boogie man

Natural gas shouldn’t be the boogie man

Gas is the reason emissions and costs are down

IT’S IRONIC THAT SEVERAL DAYS after Emily Norton’s op-ed in CommonWealth (“Kill the Northeast pipeline“), the Department of Environmental Protectiion announced that greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts decreased from 2013 to 2014, continuing a downward trend that began nearly a decade ago. Why are greenhouse gases down? Why do state officials say Massachusetts is on-track to(...)

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MA emissions continue decline

MA emissions continue decline

Economy keeps growing as state curbs greenhouse gases

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS in Massachusetts decreased from 2013 to 2014, continuing a decade-long trend, according to the latest state data. State law requires emissions by 2020 that are 25 percent lower than 1990 levels, and emissions in 2014 were 21 percent below 1990 levels, according to the Department of Environmental Protection(...)

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Kill the Access Northeast pipeline

Kill the Access Northeast pipeline

We don't need it and can't afford it

LAST MONTH, 74 conservation commissions across Massachusetts sent Gov. Charlie Baker a letter asking him to drop his support for new natural gas pipelines, and over 450 small business owners petitioned the governor to say no to new pipelines. Massachusetts does not want more fossil fuel pipelines. We don’t need them and we can’t afford(...)

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Don’t forget about transmission

Don’t forget about transmission

Rick Perry had the right idea in Texas

EARLIER THIS MONTH my company, Anbaric, announced a new partnership with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan that enables funding to create up to $2 billion in renewable energy transmission and microgrid projects. At first glance, we make an unusual team – a transmission company and a reputable institutional investor with $171 billion in assets. But(...)

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Offshore wind firms split on size of initial contract

Offshore wind firms split on size of initial contract

Big disagreement on whether bigger is better

THE THREE COMPANIES vying for Massachusetts offshore wind contracts sharply disagree on how big the initial procurement should be, but they are united in their belief that electricity generation and transmission should be handled by them and them alone. The companies spelled out their positions in responses to a Baker administration request for ideas on(...)

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US planning more offshore wind leases off MA coast

US planning more offshore wind leases off MA coast

Two firms indicate they want in on Bay State action

IN ANOTHER SIGN the offshore wind market is heating up, the federal government indicated on Friday that it intends to lease more ocean tracts off the coast of Massachusetts after hearing interest from two major developers. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said PNE Wind USA and Statoil Wind submitted unsolicited lease requests for(...)

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