Hydro, Regulation, Solar, Wind  -  January 26, 2017

Massachusetts lawmakers float 100% renewables goal

Massachusetts is already among a growing number of U.S. states that are pushing forward in the transition to a cleaner energy portfolio, but a new bill proposed by a group of state representatives could help nudge it to the top of the list. 

The bill, filed Jan. 19 by Democratic Reps. Sean Garballey, Marjorie Decker and Sen. Jamie Eldridge, would commit the state to using 100% renewable energy by 2035. The bill also calls for the eventual phase-out of all fossil fuel use across all sectors, including heating and transportation, by 2050. 

In the past year, Massachusetts has mandated a dramatic increase in the state's use of renewable energy, specifically wind and hydro, and began the process of establishing an energy storage target. Currently, Hawaii is the only state to have in place a 100% renewables mandate; its target year is 2045. California and New York both have 50% targets by 2030. 

"This legislation provides a bold step by placing the Commonwealth on a path to a cleaner and more sustainable future," Garballey said in a statement. "It encourages job creation, protects and sustains our natural resources, reduces our carbon footprint and would benefit the health and well-being of our citizens in immeasurable ways. More importantly, it signals to the country our commitment to long-term solutions in meeting the very real challenges of climate change, and lights the way for similar efforts across the nation." 

As part of the transition, the bill calls for a study to determine various pathways toward 100% clean energy for the building sector, and the policies necessary for all new buildings to be zero net energy buildings by 2030, and for nonrenewable energy consumption to be reduced for existing buildings by 50% by 2030.

 

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