- Increase Energy Efficiency – Improving energy efficiency and conservation programs save money and energy. This includes energy-efficient appliances, windows, light bulbs and adding insulation. Build more energy-efficient buildings including passive house design – the Gold standard for energy-efficient homes.
- Green the Grid -increase solar- which has already increased more than 240 times since 2009. By installing solar panels on every rooftop, we could generate 47 percent of Massachusetts’ electricity from solar. Offshore wind in particular offers a great opportunity to meet our energy needs and this can be done safely with minimal impact on wildlife. Massachusetts has already set an ambitious agenda to exploit offshore wind that will help us meet greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) goals, replace aging power plants and create thousands of new jobs.
- Incentivize the electrification of buildings –Heat pumps, convection stoves and other clean technologies instead of fossil fuel heating can be cost-effective in new construction and retrofits of existing buildings. The growth of heat pump technology has been significant. There are real advantages to building without relying on fossil fuels and it’s cost-effective and results in very low monthly utility bills.
- Electrify Transportation – This includes buses and commuter rail. This is a key strategy to decarbonization and it’s more efficient than gas or diesel. Electrifying our transportation system also results in much cleaner air, which is good news for all of us, but especially so for people living near busy roads or commuter rail lines. We already have an electric light rail on the MBTA. The next step is the commuter rail and buses. Drive an EV, there are more than 40 models on the market. With battery technology improving all the time, EV’s are practical, reliable and fun to drive.
Getting to 100% Renewable Energy can be done by 2045 or even earlier!
Studies affirm the feasibility of 100% renewable energy. The barriers are primarily political.
One study found that powering Massachusetts with 100% renewable energy for electricity, heating and cooling, transportation, and industry would reduce health costs by $8.21 billion per year while saving people an average of $26 on their energy bills.
A recent study from the Center for Environmental Policy at the University of California, Berkeley found that the United States can achieve 90% carbon-free electricity by 2035 at no additional cost to consumers.
The 100% Renewable Energy Act
The 100% Renewable Energy Act (H.2836), filed by Representative Marjorie Decker and Representative Sean Garballey, will transition Massachusetts to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 and 100% renewable energy for heating and transportation by 2045. In addition, it would accelerate the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to reach 100 percent renewable by 2035 and support job training and workforce development for Massachusetts residents to work in the clean energy sector.
A majority of members of both legislative chambers have cosponsored this bill or similar legislation filed in the Senate by Senator Jamie Eldridge (S.1958).
The Decker/Garballey 100% Renewable Energy Act would build on the example of the 100% renewable electric sector commitments adopted by other states, territories, cities, and counties while going further by transitioning heating and transportation to 100% renewable sources of energy as well.