Massachusetts’ Green New Deal, Isn’t Very Green!

State Economy

The population of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is approximately 6.92 million people[1]. Massachusetts is the 16th most populated state in the United States.

In 2021, Massachusetts’ economy was ranked 12th in the United States in gross domestic product (GDP)[2]. The state’s economy is dependent on the biotechnology, information technology, maritime trade, engineering, finance, and tourism industries[3].

Environment Policies

In 1997, Massachusetts enacted a Renewable Portfolio Standard,[4] mandating that state utilities generate 35% of the electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and an additional 1% each year after.

In 2007, Massachusetts joined Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, New Jersey, and Vermont in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative[5], a market-based collaborative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2019, Massachusetts closed the state’s last nuclear power plant. Natural gas fueled power plants  replaced the power capacity from the closed nuclear power plant.

In January 2022, utilities used natural gas (66.2%), oil (20.2%), and renewable energy (13.6%) to generate electricity in Massachusetts[6]. Solar, hydropower, biomass, and wind are the primary types of renewable energy used to generate electricity in Massachusetts.

In January 2022, the average cost for residential electricity in Massachusetts was 25.28 ¢ per kWh, compared to the national average of 13.72 ¢ per kWh.

Recent renewable energy developments in Massachusetts include:

  • 800 MW Offshore Wind Farm – Danish company, Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners is continuing work on the Vineyard Wind offshore project, which is located approximately 15 miles off the Massachusetts coast. The offshore wind project is scheduled to be commissioned by year-end 2023.
  • 10 MW Floating Offshore Wind Pilot Project – Texas engineering firm, Atkins Engineering is continuing work on a pilot floating offshore wind platform at a site approximately 20 miles south of Nantucket Island, Massachusetts.
  • 10 MW Solar + Energy Storage Project – In October 2021, Massachusetts solar company, Agilitas Energy commissioned a community solar plus energy storage project in the town of Warren, which is located approximately 50 miles west of the state capital, Boston.
  • 6 MW Solar + Energy Storage Project – In December 2021, North Carolina solar company, Pine Gate Renewables commissioned the Solar Carver 1 project at a site approximately 35 miles south-southeast of Boston.

Conclusion

Although Massachusetts legislators say they support clean, green energy, the state’s greenhouse gas emissions have steadily increased since 2019. Why?

Nuclear power plants generate zero-greenhouse gases. The electricity generated from the nuclear power plant closed in Massachusetts in 2019 was replaced by natural gas fueled power plants!

Massachusetts has significant renewable energy resource potential. Offshore wind, solar, onshore wind, and hydropower. However, the state requires complex and lengthy permitting, environmental, and interconnection studies for any renewable energy project,

Massachusetts legislators have struggled to balance land conservation laws with the development of onshore renewable energy projects. As a result, Massachusetts generated only 13.6% of its electricity from renewables in January 2022.

Massachusetts is a classic case of legislators shouting their support for clean, green energy without a clue on how to make it happen.

 As a result, Massachusetts’ Green New Deal, Isn’t Very Green!

 

Jack Kerfoot

Website – “Our Energy Conundrum”


www.jackkerfoot.com

 

 

Jack Kerfoot is a scientist, energy expert, and author of the book FUELING AMERICA, An Insider’s Journey and articles for The Hill, one of the largest independent political news sites in the United States. He has been interviewed on over 100 radio and television stations from New York City to Los Angeles on a wide range of energy topics.

 

[1] Massachusetts Population 2022, World Population Review

[2] U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis

[3] Biggest Industries in Massachusetts – World Atlas

[4] National Conference of State Legislators – State Renewable Portfolio Standards and Goals, August 13, 2021

[5] Center for Climate and Energy Solutions – Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

[6] U.S. Energy Information Agency – Massachusetts  State Profile and Energy Estimates

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