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On February 23, 2021, the City of Boston hosts an open house to review its forthcoming emissions performance standard that will set limits on emissions from energy use in existing large- and medium-sized buildings. This policy is a key strategy for meeting the city’s 2050 goal of carbon neutrality.

On February 3, 2021, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released the 2021 Annual Energy Outlook (AEO). AEO 2021 contains projections of energy use from the electric power, residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors through 2050. AEO 2021’s Reference case is a projection of the future based on estimates of fuel availability, changes in technology costs, and current legislation. 

Last month, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) announced a plan to stop burning coal by 2027 at the Stanton Energy Center. This plan is a pivotal first step to Orlando meeting its 2050 commitment to 100% renewable energy. The leadership of Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and on-the-ground advocacy efforts by the First 50 Coalition (armed with expert analysis performed by Synapse Energy Economics) were critical in catalyzing this announcement and commitment by the OUC.

It is now widely understood that distributed energy resources – including energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, storage, electrification, and electric vehicles – will need to play a fundamental role in meeting future energy needs while we decarbonize the electricity and natural gas industries.

The decisions passed down by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (or FERC) can have resounding impacts on U.S. electricity markets. A December 2019 FERC ruling is a reminder of this, and is likely to profoundly affect energy markets in the 13 states comprising the PJM Interconnection – a service area spanning from Illinois to New Jersey and from Michigan to North Carolina. FERC’s December 19 ruling directed PJM to substantially expand its Minimum Offer Price Rule (MOPR) to most state-subsidized power generation resources that bid in capacity market auctions.

Synapse’s Pat Knight rounded up some interesting observations from the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s recently released April 2020 data. We thought we’d share them here:

Per EIA’s latest data, in April 2020, for the first time ever, monthly nationwide generation from wind and solar plants exceeded nationwide generation from coal plants. Pretty cool!

A few points worth noting:

Beginning the week of March 15, many throughout New England have been living with emergency orders relating to COVID-19. Generally speaking, these orders limit gatherings, non-essential workforces, school openings, and on-site consumption of food and drink. In effect, these orders mean that many New Englanders are staying at home during most or all times of the day.

Our jobs, comforts, and ability to survive all depend on something most people take for granted until it goes missing: energy. It powers our lighting, our appliances, our cell phones – our entire daily lives. We need it to search for jobs or work from home, to access essential goods, to cook and store food, to keep our homes at safe temperatures, to access water, and to connect with loved ones. For those who are medically dependent on electricity, access to energy can keep them out of our hospitals—currently overwhelmed with the COVID pandemic—and out of harm’s way.

Today’s electric system is almost unrecognizable from the electric system just a decade ago. Generation from natural gas and renewables has accelerated to replace the rapid and unprecedented retirement of coal-fired generators. Wind, solar, and geothermal electric generating capacity in the United States has now eclipsed capacities from hydroelectric and nuclear resources combined. Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions have reached their lowest levels since 1984. Meanwhile, both total generation and electric sales have only marginally increased over 10 years.

On January 16th 2020, the New York Public Service Commission issued an order which sets New York on a path to implement one of the most ambitious energy efficiency portfolios in the country.

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