Talking points for 2017 Draft CES

Regarding solar:
— “The draft CES recommends a cap of 20 MW a year through 2030 for customer-sited solar installations. In 2016 alone, Connecticut installed about 90 MW of customer-sited solar. The new cap would result in a nearly 80% cut in new installations in 2021 compared to 2016. The CES recommendation for a new cap would place an arbitrary limit on the future growth of Connecticut’s in-state market for distributed solar—with major downsides for the state’s climate plans, growing clean energy economy, in-state solar industry, and local job growth, as well as the ability of residents and businesses to control their energy use and costs.”

Screen Shot 2017-08-13 at 1.07.20 PM
(Source: Adacia Center)

— The draft CES recommends that customer-sited solar would be metered separately from the customer’s consumption, effectively ending net metering. This fundamentally changes the relationship between customers and the grid, because customers would no longer be consuming their own clean generation and a rooftop would merely be a convenient place to locate a project. This approach is contrary to important principles of consumer control and would interfere with a customer’s right to produce and consume her own clean energy. It also moves Connecticut away from a future of integrated smart homes, where clean generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, and smart appliances operate collectively to optimize a customer’s energy usage.
(Source: Adacia Center)

— In the draft CES, DEEP supports pursuing the goals of the current pilot for community solar, known as the Shared Clean Energy Facility (SCEF) program. One goal of this pilot is to help provide access to clean energy for renters, households with shady roofs, and low-to-moderate-income ratepayers. However, the draft CES falls short of the actual commitment needed to scale up the SCEF pilot to a full statewide community solar program and may even put up new barriers by requiring upfront payments or long-term participation by subscribers. The final CES must demonstrate a clear commitment to community solar to promote an equitable distribution of benefits from solar across Connecticut. Voluntary renewable energy products, also discussed by DEEP, are not an adequate substitute for an expanded community solar program.
(Source: Adacia Center)

Other points of concern:
— The CES calls for an expansion of the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard beyond 2020 to 30% Class I by 2030. (Many clean energy advocates are aiming for 50% by 2030)
(Source: JD Supra)

— To be in line with the standards at the Paris climate talks, the goal of the CT Energy Strategy (CES) must be to limit the global atmospheric temperature rise to 1.5 degrees centigrade maximum and to recognize in the plan that achieving 100% renewable energy by 2030—not 80% by 2050—is the rational approach to meeting the climate challenge.  The members of 350 CT maintain that methane gas expansion should be stopped immediately and the funds re-directed toward renewables.
(Source: 350CT)

— Davis and Socolow in a 2014 paper establish that to stay below the 2.0 degrees C rise agreed to in Paris, we can build no new fossil fuel infrastructure, buildings, or cars powered by fossil fuels, after 2017.  We must stop burning additional fossil fuels now and achieve a transition to a 100% renewable energy powered economy by 2030 or sooner to stay below the 1.5 degrees C target rise.
(Source: 350CT)

— John Humphries of the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs said the plan needs to be bolder. He said his group is “disappointed that the document does not clearly evaluate the overall impact on projected greenhouse gas emissions and whether the proposed strategies will be sufficient to achieve the state’s climate goals.”
(Source: CT Mirror)

— “It is both shocking and troubling that while President Trump is doubling down on fossil fuels and new pipelines in D.C., Connecticut has chosen to follow his lead,” said Martha Klein, the chair of the Sierra Club. “Sadly, this CES draft simply does not hit the clear renewable energy goals set forth by the Global Warming Solutions Act.”
(Source: CT Mirror)