NECEC Statement on State of Energy in Massachusetts
NECEC (The New England Clean Energy Council) issued the following statements in response to testimony provided today by the Baker Administration, Massachusetts Utilities and the Massachusetts Attorney General at the Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee hearing on the “State of Energy” in Massachusetts:
In recent years, two important trends—natural gas and clean energy—have changed the Commonwealth’s energy mix, contributing to declining energy bills and positive impacts on the Massachusetts economy. The recent electricity price spikes Massachusetts ratepayers experienced were due to natural gas supply constraints from the previous winter.
“In order to keep Massachusetts competitive for businesses and individuals, the Baker Administration and the Legislature must prioritize energy policies that incorporate clean energy solutions 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,” said NECEC President Peter Rothstein. “Clean energy is an essential part of the solution to the problem of high and volatile energy prices. Energy efficiency, demand response and distributed generation, including combined heat and power, are the only resources that can be implemented immediately to reduce customers’ vulnerability to high and volatile energy costs. Over the next several years onshore wind, hydro, and clean energy imports can be added to provide further diversity, cost-effectiveness and energy security.”
NECEC believes that the ability to deliver additional natural gas supplies to the region may also help to address electricity price volatility over the longer term and natural gas has a role to play as the region moves away from the dirtiest energy sources to a clean energy economy. 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” investment. The goal should be investments that will cost-effectively keep the region on the quickest path possible to a clean energy economy.
“Clean energy resources are increasingly cost-effective,” added Rothstein. “Additionally, clean energy resources help achieve multiple public policy goals by providing in-region economic development and job growth and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
About NECEC (New England Clean Energy Council and the 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 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.