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The October 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) special report on climate change highlights the importance of averting catastrophic climate change. Centrally, it finds that global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions must reach net zero by 2050 in order to limit global warming to 1.5°C. With the United States’ announced withdrawal from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, the future of its commitment to reduce emissions 80 percent from 1990 levels is in peril.

Synapse was awarded a Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) grant by the Minnesota Department of Commerce to produce a white paper with recommendations on updates to Minnesota's energy efficiency cost-effectiveness framework. The objective of this project was to describe how the key elements of the National Standard Practice Manual (NSPM) could be applied to energy efficiency cost-effectiveness analyses in Minnesota.

Synapse Energy Economics released a new report today on the opportunities and challenges for decarbonizing heating in California buildings. Our study, commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council, addresses the fact that California’s buildings are responsible for 25 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. More than half of those come from combustion furnaces and water heaters.

Synapse has a new EV tool! Our new EV-REDI (Electric Vehicle Regional Emissions and Demand Impacts) tool models multiple impacts of transportation electrification for specific states.

California often leads the nation in its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by decreasing the use of fossil fuels. Also important—but often overlooked—is California’s role as an oil producer. While this role has declined, the state still produces about 5 percent of U.S. crude oil, or 0.5 percent of world production.

The Trump administration took another step toward replacing the Clean Power Plan with its proposed Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule, published on August 21, 2018. The Clean Power Plan was developed by the Obama administration in 2015, but was stayed by the Supreme Court the following year and never implemented.  

Here in Cambridge, MA we’re all too familiar with frigid winters. We may consider ourselves all-star thermostat programmers, but how many of us know in detail where the heat comes from? Most of us, knowingly or not, count on electric resistance baseboards, oil furnaces, or gas boilers to warm our homes and occupy our heating bills. But there’s another option that may be worth a look: heat pumps.

On May 1, 2018, ISO New England released its 2018 forecast for Capacity, Energy, Loads, and Transmission (CELT 2018).

Today’s electric system is almost unrecognizable from the electric system a decade ago. Generation from natural gas and renewables has accelerated to replace the rapid and unprecedented retirement of coal-fired generators. Wind, solar, and geothermal electric generating capacity in the United States has now eclipsed capacities from hydroelectric and nuclear resources combined.

With increases in renewable generation and advances in battery technology, the energy storage market has begun to take off, especially for small-scale batteries. The Tesla Powerwall battery has become a household name since its first release in 2015 and second model in November 2016. Though one of the most-recognized small-scale batteries available, the Powerwall is not alone in the expanding small-scale energy storage market.

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