Massachusetts Releases Clean Energy Plan and Roadmap to Reduce GHG Emissions by 50% by 2030

Diving brief:

  • Massachusetts’ Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs released a roadmap on Thursday for the state to meet its emission reduction goals, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030. compared to 1990 levels. Clean Energy and Climate Plan 2025 and 2030or CEC, also puts the state on the path to carbon neutrality by 2050.
  • The plan takes two main approaches — electrification of end usesand the decarburization Massachusetts power grid — to reduce emissions from buildings, transportation, power generation, industrial processes and other sources.
  • Strategies include transitioning to electric vehicles, reducing growth in total vehicle miles traveled, adding wind, solar and offshore storage power, and converting building heating systems to use heat pumps.

Overview of the dive:

Baker’s office said Massachusetts is already showing progress on its goals. In 2020, the state reduced GHG emissions estimated to be 31.4% below 1990 levels and approaching a 2025 target of 33%.

The roadmap “is a comprehensive and balanced plan that will serve as a guide for Massachusetts as we work to achieve ambitious emissions goals and reach Net Zero by 2050 in a fair and affordable way,” Baker said in a statement.

Transportation is Massachusetts’ largest source of GHG emissions, accounting for about 37 percent of the state’s total in 2020. The CEC is targeting an 18 percent reduction in those emissions by 2025 and a 34 percent drop in by 2030, compared to 1990, through a shift to electric vehicles and improved public transport.

The state will increase electric vehicle sales “through the implementation of vehicle emissions standards that will require all passenger vehicle sales and most medium and heavy-duty vehicle sales to be electric by 2035” , according to plan. Massachusetts will also support consumers going electric “by exploring convenient point-of-sale discounts for electric vehicle purchases and investing in charging infrastructure,” he said.

Achieving fair energy outcomes is one of the goals of the CEC plan, and in the transportation sector, the plan says the state will create a “targeted incentive for low-to-moderate income residents” and prioritize energy efficiency. electrification of “fleets with significant public health benefits, such as school buses, delivery trucks and rental vehicles.

The plan “sets out an unprecedented strategy that will improve key sectors, such as transport and buildings, while ensuring a just transition by emphasizing the areas of environmental justice that will guide us towards a sustainable future”, said said Beth Card, Massachusetts energy and environmental affairs secretary. in a report.

National Grid responded to the plan, saying the utility is “laser focused” on making the state’s transportation and energy systems cleaner and more efficient. “We will continue to be a thoughtful and engaged partner in these important conversations,” the utility said.

Heating Massachusetts buildings is the source of about 30% of the state’s GHG emissions, according to the plan. The state has a Clean Heat Commission that is considering different strategies to limit emissions from the sector, “including an emissions cap and a uniform method for measuring and reporting building energy use and associated GHG emissions.” “, indicates the plan.

The state is targeting a 28% reduction in emissions from residential and commercial buildings by 2025 and a 47% reduction by 2030.

Emissions from the electric power sector accounted for about 20% of state GHG emissions in 2020, and the CEC plan targets reductions of 53% in 2025 and 70% in 2030.

“The geographic diversity of clean energy available in New England will require the construction of new transmission and distribution infrastructure to connect new hydro, wind and solar resources,” the plan states. “Careful planning, including public awareness, will be required to minimize the environmental impact associated with these infrastructure investments and to mitigate any potential burden on communities, particularly those with environmentally friendly populations. “

The smallest portion of Massachusetts GHG emissions come from industrial and non-energy sources, including leaks from refrigeration systems, natural gas infrastructure, solid waste management systems, agricultural processes and other sources.

To address these emissions, the plan calls on the state to “explore additional ways to reduce sulfur hexafluoride leaks from electrical transmission equipment and gas leaks from our natural gas distribution infrastructure.”

An economic analysis of the potential impacts of CEC plans sees significant job growth, officials said. According to the plan, modeling shows that the 2025 and 2030 targets result in a net gain of more than 22,000 jobs by 2030, “most of which will be in the installation of electric vehicle chargers, solar photovoltaic projects, energy retrofits in buildings, offshore wind projects, and transmission lines to connect the clean energy that powers the economy.

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