Plugging In

Plugging In

Energy and the Environment

Solar isn’t the cause of high electricity costs

Solar isn’t the cause of high electricity costs

It's the outmoded utility business model

LIKE MANY UTILITIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, National Grid blames high electricity costs on net metering while claiming to protect ratepayers. But that’s not the real reason utilities object to this highly successful policy that enables ratepayers to take control of their own energy future and use independently owned electricity generation to reduce and stabilize their(...)

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Utilities aren’t afraid of solar

Utilities aren’t afraid of solar

The truth is our customers pay way too much for it

IN 2009, MASSACHUSETTS DECOUPLED our electricity rates, eliminating the incentive for us at National Grid to sell more electricity to our customers. This change in the way we do business enabled us to throw our support behind intensive energy efficiency programs for our customers. This fact is noticeably missing from the Acadia Center’s lengthy argument(...)

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Inside the solar negotiations

Inside the solar negotiations

Size of net metering cap hike emerging as problem

A legislative conference committee trying to bridge a philosophical gap between the House and Senate on solar power is making progress, but some new stumbling blocks are emerging. Sources familiar with the discussions say the two sides are starting to bridge their differences over how much solar developers should be paid for the electricity they(...)

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Baker amenable to offshore wind

Baker amenable to offshore wind

Governor’s primary focus is Canadian hydroelectricity

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Tuesday that he would support omnibus energy legislation that would spur the development of offshore wind, but he stopped short of backing a special carveout for the industry. Baker said his primary focus in the upcoming energy debate is legislation he filed that would allow the state’s utilities to solicit(...)

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Technology upends the utility business model

Technology upends the utility business model

Utilities view solar the way taxis view Uber

Second in a three-part series. The first part, on natural gas pipelines, can be found here. IN THE SHARING ECONOMY, new consumer technologies and business models are upending industries from transportation to accommodation, opening up markets previously dominated by established players. Similar forces are sweeping over the energy sector. A homeowner who feeds surplus electricity(...)

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Legislature should commit to offshore wind power

Legislature should commit to offshore wind power

Massachusetts can be national hub of new industry

THERE’S A CONVERSATION UNDERWAY right now on Beacon Hill that has the potential to unleash the next American energy revolution and create tens of thousands of jobs here in the Commonwealth and across the country. As communities up and down the eastern seaboard search for clean, reliable, and affordable sources of energy, offshore wind presents(...)

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Study prices out offshore wind

Study prices out offshore wind

Lower prices come from big 2,000-megawatt commitment

A UNIVERSITY OF DELAWARE STUDY suggests offshore wind off the coast of Massachusetts can yield electricity at much lower prices than previously forecast, but only if policymakers green-light the development of at least 2,000 megawatts. The 2,000-megawatt number happens to be the exact number that some House lawmakers are pushing for in the omnibus energy(...)

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100 reps break ranks on solar

100 reps break ranks on solar

Lawmakers flip-flop on net metering cuts

A GROUP OF 100 state representatives broke ranks with House leadership on Tuesday, urging six lawmakers trying to broker a legislative compromise on solar energy to hew more closely to the Senate approach on the bill. A letter, signed by the 100 lawmakers, was sent to the three House members of the legislative conference committee(...)

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The case against gas pipelines

The case against gas pipelines

There’s too much risk and not enough need

This is the first in a three-part series of opinion pieces that will appear on consecutive Mondays. ON MARCH 20, 1886, the world’s first alternating current electric grid was powered up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The steam generator, power lines, and transformers were revolutionary and, in the 130 years since, the electric grid has transformed(...)

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