100% Renewable Energy Agenda For Massachusetts In the Works

BARNSTABLE- With election season just around the corner, environmental advocates and local leaders gathered at the Unitarian Church of Barnstable yesterday to share ideas for accelerating Massachusetts’ transition to 100 percent renewable energy.

The 100% Renewable Energy Agenda, developed by the Environment Massachusetts Research & Policy Center, includes more than 30 policies that the winner of this fall’s gubernatorial election can implement to reduce energy consumption and rapidly repower all sectors of the economy with clean energy.

“We have seen clean energy grow rapidly in the last few years but there is so much more we can do, and we are here in Barnstable to really shine a spotlight on the institutions and the organizations that are leading the way towards 100% renewables here on the Cape, and make the case that now is really the time for us to go big on clean energy,” said Ben Hellerstein, State Director for Environment Massachusetts.

It has been reported that since 2007, Massachusetts has seen a 246-fold increase in the amount of electricity it gets from the sun. Wind energy generation in Massachusetts is set to increase dramatically in the coming years, with a commitment to install 1,600 megawatts of offshore wind capacity.

A report by the Applied Economics Clinic found that increasing the renewable portfolio standard by 3 percent per year, along with other clean energy policies, would result in 600,000 fewer metric tons of greenhouse gases per year by 2030 (equivalent to taking 128,000 cars off the road) at little to no additional cost to the public.

There has also been recent talk on Beacon Hill about having some of these plans being put into action; “at the State House legislators are debating a number of clean energy policies. The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill back in June that would get us to 50% renewable electricity by 2030, and 100% by 2050.”

“The House has also passed clean energy legislation although their version is somewhat less ambitious. The legislative session wraps up on July 31st, so really we need to do everything that we can to get that over the finish line,” said Hellerstein.

For more information on this plan and how you can support local clean energy in your town, visit environmentmassachusetts.org

By JOHN BONDAREK, CapeCod.Com News Center

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