Energy Exchange

Leadership, bold action needed to scale electric trucks and buses

A recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance highlights the urgent need for policymakers to prioritize truck electrification, which could have sweeping benefits for the climate, public health, and American jobs. The annual EV outlook includes (for the first time) a comparison of the zero-emission vehicle adoption path needed to achieve net-zero by 2050, as well as a business-as-usual scenario where fleet operators continued to externalize the health and climate damage from operating combustion trucks.

For large trucks and buses, the difference between these scenarios is stark. According the BNEF summary, “by 2040, zero-emission medium and heavy commercial vehicles are 95% of sales in our Net Zero Scenario, but just 30% in the ETS. This represents an ‘adoption gap’ of 65 percentage points in 2040.”

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Also posted in Air Quality, California, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

New Jersey’s road to clean transportation revs up with advanced clean trucks rule

Requiring manufacturers to produce zero-emission trucks and buses is a turn New Jersey cannot afford to miss. The discussions to adopt the Advanced Clean Trucks rule begin this week, and the Department of Environmental Protection should seize the opportunity to transition trucks and buses from diesel to zero-emission motors. This is one of the most powerful ways for New Jersey to build on its momentum as a climate leader and reduce pollution, address equity issues, improve public health and spark economic growth across the state.

Transportation is the most polluting sector in New Jersey. It emits nearly half of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and is the largest contributor of local air pollution, which causes a host of health threats. Trucks and buses are responsible for a disproportionate share of this pollution because they run on diesel fuel. Delivering on Gov. Murphy’s Energy Master Plan, which prioritizes zero-emission transportation, the ACT can help solve these problems and get New Jersey closer to 100% zero-emission truck and bus sales by 2040 and a full fleet turnover by 2050.

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Also posted in Air Quality, Electric Vehicles / Language: / Comments are closed

4 opportunities for gas utilities to accelerate the energy transition today

A troubling story recently emerged about a group of gas utilities whose mission is to fight electrification. While the leaked materials alone don’t explain the full extent of the group’s efforts, it was unsettling to see baseless, fear-driven tactics such as “take advantage of power outage fear,” to make people wary of electrification. Instead of blocking progress to safe, affordable, clean energy, gas utilities concerned with the future should be taking steps today to accelerate the energy transition.

Several analyses make clear that electrification of commercial and residential buildings will play a predominant role in achieving state climate goals. Take New Jersey, for example, where residential and commercial buildings account for the second largest share of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. According to modeling done by the state, in order to achieve its climate goals of 80% emission reductions by 2050, residential and commercial sector emissions must be reduced by 89%.

To achieve this level of emission reductions, New Jersey has found that “policies requiring net-zero emissions for new construction must be paired with aggressive requirements for electrification of older residential and commercial buildings as soon as practicable.” In other words, the last thing we should be doing is fighting efforts to electrify.

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Also posted in Gas to Clean, Methane, Natural Gas, New York / Language: / Comments are closed

What does it really mean for a gas utility to go net-zero?

SoCalGas – the nation’s largest gas utility recently pledged to go net-zero on their greenhouse gas emissions. At face value, this is a great move, but what does this really mean for a gas-only company that has had some major climate missteps in the past? And what are the implications for current and future SoCalGas customers?

Today, customers use natural gas for a variety of purposes — to warm our homes, to take hot showers, to cook hot meals. But as part of the transition to a cleaner energy economy, more and more customers are shifting to electric appliances to perform those same functions. That shift means that they will be leaving the gas system to a decarbonized electric grid.

That’s great news for the climate, but it’s less great news if you’re a gas-only company or if you’re one of the few gas customers left on the system, especially if you are a large industrial customer and there is not an electric alternative available for your business process.

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Also posted in California, Gas to Clean, Natural Gas, New York / Language: / Comments are closed

New multi-state collaboration makes an important commitment to electric trucks and buses

As our nation grapples with a historic public health crisis, 15 states and the District of Columbia are showing leadership by committing to address a dangerous culprit that makes us more vulnerable to COVID-19 and climate change: diesel pollution from trucks and buses.

These pollutants have significant negative consequences on air quality and health. Despite comprising just 10% of vehicles on the road across the U.S., trucks and buses are responsible for 57% of fine particulate matter, 45% of oxides of nitrogen and 28% of greenhouse gas emissions for that sector.

Besides increased planetary warming, pollution from diesel vehicles leads to a higher rate of asthma, heart attacks and premature deaths — ailments that disproportionately affect people of color and disadvantaged communities, which often border freight corridors, ports and depots. A growing body of evidence suggests that people with respiratory illnesses, often caused or exacerbated by transportation-related pollution, are more susceptible to the effects of COVID-19. Read More »

Also posted in Air Quality, California, Clean Energy, Colorado, Electric Vehicles, NESCAUM, New York, North Carolina, Washington, DC / Tagged | Language: / Comments are closed

How FERC’s flawed definition of “subsidy” could reshape the energy future for 65 million Americans

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued an order last December that could force many clean energy resources to bid into the nation’s largest wholesale electricity market, PJM, at artificially high prices. State policy makers, consumer and environmental advocates and the clean energy industry alike spoke out in vigorous opposition. Now, that order is being challenged in the courts. In the meantime, PJM must implement its directives in a process that will shape the future energy system for 65 million Americans in a region that spans 13 mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia.

While FERC’s December order was already bad policy — replacing competitive bidding with administrative pricing — many aspects of their mid-April order clarifying that policy are illogical and unworkable. As well as threatening competitive markets, these orders undermine state clean energy choices and, if FERC ignores PJM’s latest proposal attempting to soften the impact of the orders, could increase customer costs by billions.

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Also posted in Clean Energy, Market resilience, New York, Regional Grid, Renewable Energy / Language: / Comments are closed