Missing a Clean Energy Opportunity in Connecticut

Solar panels, photo: istock

The state’s 2017 draft 2017 Draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) was recently released by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  The purpose of the CES is to conduct an assessment and propose a strategy for all residential, commercial, and industrial energy issues, including energy efficiency, industry, electricity, natural gas, and transportation. 

By statute, DEEP is required to periodically update the CES to assess and plan for all energy needs in the state, including, but not limited to, electricity, heating, cooling and transportation.  This updated CES is intended to advance the State’s goal to create a cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy future for Connecticut’s residents and businesses.

“Unfortunately, the draft proposal falls far short of achieving bold targets for the renewable portfolio standard (RPS) and does not do enough to put Connecticut on a path to reach our greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2050. What we really need is a clear road map to unrestricted renewable energy, not a mix of conventional supply with a smattering of renewables as we’ve had before,”stated Melissa Everett, PhD, Clean Water Action’s Energy and Sustainability Program Manager.  For example, the draft proposal includes:  

  • No assessment of overall impact on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions)
  • Proposed cap on "behind-the-meter" solar installations would impose an 80% cut in 2021, compared to 2016 installations (see Acadia Center's analysis)
  • Inadequate treatment of offshore wind development
  • Inadequate ramp-up of energy efficiency programs to match the achievements of other states in the region

DEEP is holding meetings around the state to hear public comment on the proposed CES. More info can be found here:  CES Public Meetings  Clean Water Action will be mobilizing members, energy task force leaders and concerned citizens to submit comments in support of a concrete, critical path forward that assures that CT significantly ramp up renewables, eliminate a cap to virtual net metering and adopts policies that support and enable a rapid shift to electric vehicles.

We have until September 25th at 4pm to submit comments to DEEP.  Want to learn more?  Contact us!  We’ll help with talking points for comments and answer any questions.  Now is a critical time to raise our voices and demand that CT ramps up renewables---for public health and the health of the environment.