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On January 17, 2018, ISO New England (“ISO”) released a draft of its Operational Fuel Security Analysis. This study lays out many different possibilities for a 2024/25 winter, assessing the electric grid’s reliability under a varying array of assumptions. ISO’s main finding is clear: adding more renewables and more imports, and increasing the availability of LNG deliveries and backup oil during supply emergencies, will all contribute to improved system reliability.

Synapse maintains EPA’s Avoided Emissions and Generation Tool (AVERT) model, a publicly-available tool designed to estimate the emissions displaced at electric power plants by incremental additions of energy efficiency and/or renewable energy. Recently, Synapse worked with EPA to implement several upgrades to the AVERT framework, including incorporation of particulate matter (PM2.5) into the tool and several algorithmic improvements. In addition, the release of the 2016 data year means that a full decade of AVERT data is now publicly available.

Congratulations to Frank Ackerman on the release of his new book, Worst-Case Economics: Extreme Events in Climate and Finance! Juliet Schor describes it as "highly accessible but profound," and Samuel Bowles calls it "an important book and a delight to read." Dr. Ackerman will be doing a talk about the book at the Synapse office next Monday, December 4th at 7pm. Those of you in the Boston area won't want to miss this unique opportunity. We hope to see you there!

Join Synapse this Thursday for the October edition of our Third Thursday webinar series!

Raise Your (Cost-Effectiveness Screening) Standards: A Discussion of the National Standard Practice Manual for Assessing Cost-Effectiveness of Energy Efficiency Resources 

October 19, 2017 | 2:00-3:00pm ET

Energy efficiency is experiencing a period of rapid transformation.  

In many states, energy efficiency programs have transformed the residential lighting market, and LED bulbs are now the norm for many applications. As residential lighting opportunities diminish for these energy efficiency programs, new opportunities are emerging.  

As Synapse bids farewell to another New England summer, we also welcome two new staff members. We're thrilled to have Nina Peluso and Jamie Hall join the Synapse team!

Photo of Nina PelusoPhoto of Jamie Hall

The Northeast is going to have to step it up if states want to meet their admirably ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to roughly 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050. While the seven states in question—Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont—had by 2015 managed to get their GHG levels down by 19 percent, the approaches they’ve been using won’t be enough. Enter strategic electrification—an approach increasingly recognized as an essential and cost-effective part of deep decarbonization.

In April, U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Perry ordered his staff to produce a report on the degradation of baseload power, stating his expected conclusion: that “the diminishing diversity” of U.S. generation “resulted in part from regulatory burdens introduced by previous administrations that were designed to decrease coal-fired power generation.”

Massachusetts has long been a national leader in efforts to capture clean energy economic development opportunities, enhance energy security, and reduce emissions. The state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) legislation is an important part of this leadership in combatting climate change. RPS policies are the foundation for clean energy markets and a proven policy tool to support successful, cost-effective renewable energy development at the state level. An RPS is a market-based mechanism that creates demand for clean energy, which can be met by a variety of cost-effective resources.

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