ORIGINAL REPORTING: Connecticut’s Hesitating Progress On New Energy
Connecticut energy plan raises tough questions on comparative resource valuation; Critics say the state's comprehensive energy plan falls short in capturing the full costs and benefits of energy technologies.
Herman K. Trabish, Sept. 28, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: This story reported that the draft version of Connecticut’s energy strategy update could do better by the state’s New Energy potential. The final version, released earlier this year, was met with mixed reviews.
Connecticut’s newly updated has been praised for its ambition, but the draft version leaves a key question unanswered: Will it meet the state’s climate goals? The state’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) is intended to meet the statutory requirement (Section 16a-3d) for a statewide “assessment and plan for all energy needs” in electricity, heating, cooling and transportation. It must also consider the utilities’ Integrated Resources Plans and needs for energy efficiency, renewables and resilience. The first CES, finalized in 2013, was the platform for later legislation on implementation of the energy plan and on clean energy goals. Both laws were aimed at meeting the state’s 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA). The Act requires emissions to be 10% below 1990 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2001 levels by 2050.
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is required to update the strategy every three years. The July 2017 draft CES calls for moving Connecticut's renewable energy mandate — today at 20% by 2020 — up by one percentage point annually for ten years. That would result in 30% renewables in 2030. It “represents DEEP’s best thinking for building a new and cleaner energy future,” spokesperson Dennis Schain emailed Utility Dive. He declined further comment because DEEP is still considering “all comments and issues.” Other stakeholders responded to Utility Dive queries with almost a single voice about one overarching problem of the strategy. It “is a step in the right direction” but “makes no attempt to show it will meet the 2020 emissions reduction target,” a member of the Governor’s task force on climate said… click here for more
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