clean energy

How States Can Make Energy Storage Work for Communities

, senior energy analyst

Know of a state where policy might be moving on energy storage? Or a lawmaker interested in the potential for storage to improve people’s lives? Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) new policy brief, “How to ensure energy storage policies are equitable,” offers a policy roadmap for clean energy champions to design ways to stimulate greater deployment of energy storage—in ways that put the needs and interests of communities first. Read more >

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Michigan Should Reject DTE’s Integrated Resource Plan, Here’s Why

, lead Midwest energy analyst

After hundreds of pages of expert testimony (including testimony from UCS), thousands of public comments, and two rounds of legal briefing, a Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) administrative law judge will issue a recommended decision later this month on whether DTE’s integrated resource plan should be rejected, modified, or approved. UCS and numerous other stakeholders are urging the MPSC to reject DTE’s flawed resource plan and direct the company to redo its analysis. Here’s why. Read more >

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Residentes of East Boston protesting Eversource's proposed substation GreenRoots

Open Letter Demands Clean Energy Alternative to Risky Eversource Substation

, energy analyst

En español

This is the fourth of a four-part blog series on East Boston, a Controversial Substation, and Opportunities for a Clean Energy Transition.  

In recent weeks via this blog we have explored a proposal from Boston-area electric utility Eversource to locate a risky high-voltage substation in a densely populated neighborhood in East Boston. We have covered the characteristics of East Boston and the range of environmental justice issues it faces, the community’s concerns around the project, and our own analysis of a local clean energy alternative.

This blog post is aimed at the decision-makers who are tasked with determining the wisdom of allowing the project to proceed, or of requiring more information and a more reality-based exploration of risks and opportunities. Below is an open letter from Juan Ramos, a Union of Concerned Scientists colleague and a resident of East Boston, asking the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) to listen to the people of East Boston; to base their decision on up-to-date, transparent, and sufficient data; and not to approve the current substation proposal from Eversource. Add your name to this open letter! Read more >

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Gas plant in California with pipeline in foreground

Why Can’t California Shake Its Natural Gas Habit?

, Energy analyst

California is a national leader in clean energy generation, but to fully transition away from fossil fuels in the electric sector, the state will need to expand its focus beyond energy and start taking a hard look at capacity.

California has a resource adequacy program, which ensures that the state has enough electricity generating capacity at the ready to keep the grid reliable year-round. Up until now, the data about the types of resources (natural gas plants, solar, energy storage, etc.) being used to satisfy those reliability requirements has not been publicly available. But at the urging of UCS and other organizations, that information is now being made public.

So now the numbers are in, and they paint a startling picture of California’s continued reliance on natural gas. After taking you through the numbers, I’ll talk about some of the solutions we already have and the ones we might still need.

Sit down, folks. This will take your (energy nerd) breath away.

Read more >

John Ciccarelli, BLM.
California Energy Commission
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A Clean Energy Alternative to a Risky Proposed Substation in East Boston

, energy analyst

En español

This is the third of a four-part blog series on East Boston, a Controversial Substation, and Opportunities for a Clean Energy Transition.  

Right now, utilities and other key actors in the energy sector are making critical decisions that could have implications far into our future. These decisions will either enable a transition to local clean energy or lock us in for decades to expensive, traditional, and centralized energy models.

One such decision is playing out in East Boston, as the Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) considers a proposal from Eversource to locate a substation in the densely populated Eagle Hill neighborhood. Read more >

City of Boston
Applied Economics Clinic
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