Benefits of Reducing New England Energy Use Include Lower Energy Prices and Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Addition to Energy Cost Savings

There is almost one gigawatt of energy-saving distributed generation (DG) resources installed across New England, Synapse found in a report prepared for the E4 Group—and state policies, together with falling technology costs, could lead to the installation of nearly two more gigawatts by 2021. So why does ISO-New England currently assume that zero megawatts of new DG will be installed by 2021 for the purposes of transmission reliability planning, potentially leading ratepayers to fund unnecessary transmission upgrades?

Last week, President Obama announced his plan to reduce carbon pollution in the United States, tasking the EPA with creating a strategy to set limits on carbon emissions from power plants by June 2014. A number of opponents of the measure claimed that any such strategy would cost the country jobs; however, Synapse recently examined the broad economic impacts of a similar carbon emissions standard proposed by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and found this plan would result in a net increase in jobs.

Preliminary data for 2012 from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) indicate that, for the first time, more wind generating capacity was brought online than any other resource type to meet the nation’s electricity needs. Net wind capacity additions totaled 10,043 megawatts (MW) in 2012, while net natural gas capacity additions totaled 7,206 MW. The EIA data also indicate that:

According to a new Synapse study, produced on behalf of the Civil Society Institute, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has grossly misrepresented the costs and impacts of renewable energy. 


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