NECEC Statement on Massachusetts Attorney General’s Regional Electricity Reliability Study

NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council) issued the following statement regarding yesterday’s announcement that the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office will conduct a regional study to identify and evaluate options to address New England electricity reliability needs through 2030.

In recent years, two important trends—natural gas and clean energy—have changed the Commonwealth’s energy mix, contributing to declining energy bills, reduced emissions and positive impacts on the Massachusetts economy. As policymakers decide how to address electricity price spikes Massachusetts ratepayers experienced due to natural gas supply constraints, it is vital to have fact-based evidence to address the question of whether more natural gas is needed and how much.  NECEC is very pleased to see that the Office of Attorney General Maura Healey is undertaking a study to provide this evidence.   

“Natural gas has a role to play as the region moves from the dirtiest energy sources to a clean energy economy, and the ability to deliver additional natural gas supplies to the region may help to address electricity price volatility over the longer term,” said NECEC Vice President of Policy and Government Affairs Janet Gail Besser. “However, investments in gas infrastructure must be thoroughly analyzed under a number of scenarios and in comparison with clean energy alternatives to ensure that the region is not investing in infrastructure that will put New England on a path away from a clean energy future or lead to “stranded” investments.  The Attorney General’s study is very appropriately contributing to this analysis.” 

NECEC believes that any natural gas investment must cost-effectively keep the region on the quickest path possible to a clean energy economy. Additionally, policy makers should focus on currently available clean energy solutions – energy efficiency, demand response, distributed generation, combined heat and power – and options that can be available in the near to medium term – onshore wind, hydro, clean energy imports – as a way to diversify the state’s energy resources and make consumers less susceptible to the volatile fossil fuel price fluctuations that the region is now experiencing.

About NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council and NECEC Institute)

NECEC is a regional non-profit clean energy business, policy and innovation organization whose mission is to accelerate the region’s clean energy economy to global leadership by building an active community of stakeholders and a world-class cluster of clean energy companies.

NECEC works with clean energy businesses and entrepreneurs, policymakers and other stakeholders in the clean energy sector in New England and the Northeast through programs and initiatives that advance clean energy markets and help clean energy businesses access the resources they need to grow.

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