ENERGY EXPERTS TAKE STOCK OF OPPORTUNITIES FACING NORTHEAST ELECTRICITY MARKETS, CLEAN ENERGY FUTURE

In a time of transformational change in the electricity sector, the Northeast region has positioned itself as a national leader on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and a modern electric grid. A new report and video from M.J. Bradley & Associates explores the opportunities and challenges facing the Northeast region’s rapidly evolving electricity system and state carbon emission and clean energy goals.

The Northeast states were among the first in the nation to adopt a competitive utility market structure, and the first to adopt a regional market-based carbon-trading program, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). These changes have put the Northeast well ahead of federal efforts to address carbon emissions from the electric sector and helped the region to shift to cleaner energy while growing the economy. The report, Power Switch, provides essential lessons to energy leaders within and outside the Northeast region. The analysis finds that a combination of policy choices, competitive markets, natural gas prices and technology innovation are driving major changes in the Northeast electricity markets and a shift to clean energy in the region.

“Thanks to strong markets and innovation combined with smart policy, the Northeast region has demonstrated that it’s possible to provide reliable power while reducing carbon emissions,” said Michael Bradley President of M.J. Bradley & Associates.

The video accompanying the report provides compelling testimonials on changes and innovation in the electricity markets from notable energy experts, including Sue Tierney, Senior Advisor, Analysis Group, Peter Kelly-Detwiler, Principal, Northbridge Energy Partners, Gordon van Welie, President and Chief Executive Officer of ISO New England and Kelly Speakes-Backman, Sr. Vice President of Policy & Research, Alliance to Save Energy.

Despite the region’s success to date in reducing emissions, the region’s rapidly changing energy picture will require further innovation and policies that address how the region generates, manages, uses, and stores energy. Most Northeast states have set ambitious, long-term carbon reduction goals. These long-term targets will require carbon reductions from other sectors of the economy, such as transportation, and clear market signals out to 2030 to meet the states’ 2050 goals.

“There’s no question that the Northeast has the basic tools to help states further transition to clean energy,” said Chris Van Atten from M.J. Bradley & Associates, “But this will require smart decisions about electrification, grid integration, and transportation in the short term, combined with clear long-term policy signals.”

The report anticipates a continued “decarbonizing” of energy production and supply through substantial increases in cleaner electricity, more electric vehicles and infrastructure, scaling up renewables, investing in smarter technologies and energy efficiency, and stronger, quicker integration of the electric grid. The report documents the rapid pace of innovation and economic opportunities happening today that will continue to drive the transition to a low carbon energy future for the region.

Power Switch was prepared by M.J. Bradley & Associates’ team of economic, legal, engineering and policy experts to help inform policymakers and other stakeholders on the far-reaching changes that are occurring within the electricity markets in the Northeast. In a companion video, leading energy experts offer insight into how regulatory certainty and technology innovation can change the electric markets through 2030 and beyond. (This video is available for reposting.)

Sarah Golden