Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions Announces Legislative Priorities
Coalition to focus on increasing the Renewable Portfolio Standard, modernizing the grid and other initiatives to advance clean, affordable and reliable energy for Massachusetts
The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES), a coalition composed of diverse organizations dedicated to advancing clean, affordable and reliable energy for Massachusetts, announced its legislative priorities today as the Massachusetts Legislature begins hearing testimony on several key energy bills. These priorities will facilitate clean energy development, reduce climate pollution and its associated health impacts, protect consumers, enhance economic growth and encourage innovation.
ACES’s top priority is an increase to the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS). The need for this increase is highlighted in An Analysis of the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard, a May 2017 report developed by NECEC, in partnership with Mass Energy. The report found that an increase, such as the one called for by ACES, could create thousands of jobs across the region and lower wholesale electricity prices in Massachusetts while putting the Commonwealth on track to fulfill its obligations under the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) to reduce emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
“The ACES policy priorities are critical to the economic, energy and environmental future of the Commonwealth,” said Janet Gail Besser, ACES co-chair and NECEC Executive Vice President. “Our diverse coalition looks forward to working with the Legislature to build upon Massachusetts’ success deploying cost-effective clean energy solutions to reduce carbon emissions, while driving innovation in clean tech and creating jobs.”
“Given the federal government’s retrograde energy policies, it’s critical that states show a willingness to embrace clean energy solutions,” said Acadia Center’s Massachusetts Director Peter Shattuck and ACES co-chair. “We’re proud of the direction our ACES members have taken in ensuring that Massachusetts remain a leader in the nation’s clean energy future.”
The ACES legislative priorities for the electric sector include:
- Renewable Portfolio Standard – raise the RPS to require 40 percent to 50 percent renewable energy by 2030, by increasing the continuing annual RPS growth rate to 2 percent to 3 percent.
- Modernize the Grid – facilitate greater integration of distributed generation, storage, demand response and electric vehicles; use these resources to lower system costs; establish rates that encourage customers to act more efficiently, and protect low-income customers.
- Solar – remove net metering caps, establish ambitious long-term targets for deployment and ensure equitable access to solar energy for low-income and other customers.
- Community Empowerment –empower communities, through a democratic process, to enable new financing for clean energy projects of their choice to stabilize costs and meet local renewable energy targets.
The ACES legislative priorities for additional sectors include:
- Climate Policy – set greenhouse gas reduction requirements for 2030 and 2040 and extend carbon pricing beyond the electric sector.
- Buildings – promote energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings through education and building energy assessment and labeling; enable modern, efficient renewable heating technologies within Mass Save efficiency programs.
- Electric Vehicles – encourage adoption of electric vehicles by providing reduced rates for charging at night, lowering barriers to new charging stations, and implementing measures to integrate electric vehicles into grid planning and utility policies.
- Clean Energy Financing – expand innovative energy efficiency and clean energy financing options for residential and commercial customers, leveraging private funds and ensuring strong consumer protections.
“Increasing the RPS means creating jobs, to the tune of tens of thousands of new jobs across the Massachusetts economy,” said Jesse Mermell, President of the Alliance for Business Leadership. “Here in the Commonwealth, we know that we can do well by doing good. Perhaps no industry has proven that to be true more than our thriving clean energy sector, which employs more than 100,000 people. By increasing the RPS we can reap the emissions reduction benefits of doing good, while creating the jobs our state economy needs to do well."
To learn more about ACES, its members and its policies, visit: http://macleanenergysolutions.org.
About the Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) The Alliance for Clean Energy Solutions (ACES) is a “coalition of coalitions” comprised of business groups, clean energy companies, environmental organizations, labor, health, and consumer advocates dedicated to advancing clean energy for Massachusetts. ACES is committed to ensuring that those charged with shaping Massachusetts’ energy policies have the most rigorous, current data on the benefits and costs of clean energy. Our goal is to ensure that the Commonwealth can attain a cost-effective, reliable and diverse energy supply to power its businesses, communities and households, which will reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, create a stable and prosperous business environment and meet the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions requirements. For more information: acesma.org.