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renewable energy

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.

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.

In 2014, the City of Burlington, Vermont became the first city in the United States to power itself on 100 percent renewable electricity. Synapse Energy Economics (Synapse) and Resource Systems Group (RSG) are proud to partner with the City to take its next big step, developing a roadmap to put the community on the best path to achieve Net Zero Energy by 2030.

On November 26, 2018, Massachusetts’ new SMART program went into effect. SMART stands for Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target. It is a program designed to replace the previous Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) program as one of the primary means of incentivizing distributed solar installations in the Commonwealth.

Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPSs) have been enacted in 29 states (and DC!), and each year approximately a half dozen of those states enact major revisions to their respective RPSs. Looking to tweak your RPS? Here are three suggestions for improving your policy:

On June 16, 2016, EPA released new information about the Clean Energy Incentive Program (CEIP), a subsection of the Clean Power Plan. The CEIP is a program intended to incentivize early action before 2022 in renewables and energy efficiency, with priority given to low-income communities.

At a webinar last week, The Changing Face of Electric Resource Planning,” Dr. Jeremy Fisher and Patrick Luckow explored the changing functions of integrated resource plans across the United States. Dr. Elizabeth A. Stanton and Dr. Ariel Horowitz moderated the webinar. Dr. Horowitz continues the conversation here with a post on the technical challenges of modeling new energy resources.

Capacity vs. Peak Demand in New EnglandThe Brayton Point coal-fired power plant will shut down for good in June 2017. Like coal plants across the country, its operators can no longer make enough money to keep it running. Now, the town of Somerset has an opportunity to influence the reuse of this sizable waterfront site.

Meeting the emission reduction goals of states within the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) will yield billions of dollars in savings and tens of thousands of new jobs each year for over a decade, according to a Synapse study released today. A more stringent RGGI cap, complemented by individual state renewable resource and efficiency standards, will help states achieve their climate goals, which cluster around a 40 percent reduction from 1990 emissions levels by 2030.

In a series of recent briefs on the consumer costs of low-emissions futures, Synapse demonstrates that a Clean Energy Future scenario that exceeds the emissions targets of EPA’s Clean Power Plan can also lower electricity bills nationwide. The idea that investing heavily in clean energy and energy efficiency programs will save households money may be surprising to some, but in the third and final brief in the series, released today, Synapse discusses the logic behind why this is the case and why—if it’s so appealing—states haven’t already embarked on similar trajectories.

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