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As Synapse bids farewell to another New England summer, we also welcome two new staff members. We're thrilled to have Nina Peluso and Jamie Hall join the Synapse team!

Photo of Nina PelusoPhoto of Jamie Hall

The Northeast is going to have to step it up if states want to meet their admirably ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to roughly 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050. While the seven states in question—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont—had by 2015 managed to get their GHG levels down by 19 percent, the approaches they’ve been using won’t be enough. Enter strategic electrification—an approach increasingly recognized as an essential and cost-effective part of deep decarbonization.

In April, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Perry ordered his staff to produce a report on the degradation of baseload power, stating his expected conclusion: that “the diminishing diversity” of U.S. generation “resulted in part from regulatory burdens introduced by previous administrations that were designed to decrease coal-fired power generation.”

Massachusetts has long been a national leader in efforts to capture clean energy economic development opportunities, enhance energy security, and reduce emissions. The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation is an important part of this leadership in combatting climate change. RPS policies are the foundation for clean energy markets and a proven policy tool to support successful, cost-effective renewable energy development at the state level. An RPS is a market-based mechanism that creates demand for clean energy, which can be met by a variety of cost-effective resources.

On May 1, 2017, ISO-NE released CELT 2017, its latest forecast for electricity demand in New England. As the independent system operator, ISO-NE is responsible for coordinating electric generation and sales in New England and for ensuring the reliable operation of the region’s electric grid.

The District of Columbia’s aggressive support of distributed energy resources includes a 2016 Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requirement that 50 percent of retail electricity sales come from renewable energy by 2032, with 5 percent coming from solar. While the District’s solar capacity has grown quickly in recent years, existing capacity falls short of its current targets.

Today’s electric system looks remarkably different than it looked 10—or even five—years ago. Coal generation is retiring at an unprecedented rate and being replaced by natural gas and renewables. The United States’ wind, solar, and geothermal electric generating capacity now exceeds capacities from hydroelectric and nuclear resources. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are at their lowest levels since the early 1990s, and both total generation and electric sales have remained essentially unchanged for 10 years.

Clean Energy for New York: Replacement Energy and Capacity Resources for the Indian Point Energy Center Under New York Clean Energy Standard (CES)

Synapse's Pat Knight was featured yesterday on WNPR's Next with John Dankosky. His interview, part of the Power Up segment, focused on our recently released report on natural gas. Listen here: https://nenc.news/podcast/episode-29-taking-leap/

Report: New England's Shrinking Need for Natural Gas

On February 6, 2017 Synapse released a report onNew England’s Shrinking Need for Natural Gas. ” This report examines the need for, and the cost of, the Access Northeast (ANE) natural gas pipeline.

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