Boston – With election season just around the corner, environmental advocates unveiled an ambitious clean energy agenda for the winner of this fall’s gubernatorial race to take up.
The 100% Renewable Energy Agenda, developed by the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, includes more than 30 far-reaching policy proposals to reduce energy consumption and repower all sectors of the economy with clean energy.
“For decades, the Commonwealth has led the nation in preserving the environment, protecting public health, and reducing global warming pollution,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center. “Massachusetts must continue to lead the way forward, with a bold vision and with the action necessary to make it real."
Since 2007, Massachusetts has seen a 246-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun. Wind energy generation in Massachusetts is set to increase dramatically in the coming years, with a commitment to install 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind generation.
In June, the Massachusetts Senate passed a bill that would eliminate caps on solar net metering and increase renewable energy to 50 percent of Massachusetts’ electricity consumption by 2030 and 100 percent by 2047. The House has passed a bill for 35 percent renewable electricity by 2030. Legislators must reach an agreement before July 31, or start again from scratch next year.
A report by the Applied Economics Clinic found that increasing the renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent per year, along with other clean energy policies, would result in 600,000 fewer metric tons of greenhouse gases per year by 2030 (equivalent to taking 128,000 cars off the road) at little to no additional cost to the public.
Last week, 16 academics, researchers, and clean energy industry leaders sent a letter to state officials underscoring the urgency of acting on clean energy policies before the end of the legislative session, and affirming that “there are no insurmountable technological or economic barriers to achieving 100 percent renewable energy.”
In the coming weeks, Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center will visit 9 cities and towns across Massachusetts to share the agenda and highlight examples of institutions, businesses, and municipalities that are leading the way to 100 percent renewable energy:
- Fall River
- North Andover
“Now is the time for us to go big on clean energy,” said Hellerstein. “Legislators have important decisions to make before the end of the session. And come January, we’re ready to work with whoever occupies the corner office on Beacon Hill to help Massachusetts go 100 percent renewable.”