Last week, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection proposed to implement a “Clean Energy Standard,” which would require that, by 2020, at least 45% of electricity sales come from sources which have “clean energy attributes.” The required percentage would increase to 49% by 2024, and MassDEP would then have to define percentages going forward at least 10 years in advance, with the caveat that the required percentage can never decrease.
What energy sources would qualify as having clean energy attributes? The proposal includes two options.
- All generation units that are RPS Class I renewable generation units
- Any generation unit demonstrated to have lifecycle GHG emissions at least 50% below the life cycle emissions of a state of the art combined cycle gas generating unit
If you are thinking that this sounds like an RPS on steroids, I think you’re right. If you are wondering about MassDEP getting into the business of regulating the power purchase choices of utilities, rather than the emissions of generators, so am I. If you are also wondering what the new Baker administration will do with this, so am I.
And if you wanted a signal about how at least the now-departed Patrick administration was planning to meet the Global Warming Solutions Act requirement of an 80% decrease in GHG emissions by 2050, look no further than the Fact Sheet for the proposal, which very pointedly notes that:
Clean energy supplied in compliance with the CES could include hydroelectric power from Canada.