A Sound Solution to the Vintage Renewable Energy Credit Problem

By Cynthia A. Arcate 6 February, 2013
About a year ago, we reported on an arcane but no less important problem of the inadequate supply of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) for Class II resources. To its credit, the state has moved to address this – through legislation, research and, recently, a new proposal that bears examination. Class II resources are the renewable energy projects operational before 1998, when the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard was created for new resources. This Class II category was created as part of

Vintage Renewable Energy Credit Targets Need Tweaking

By Cynthia A. Arcate 29 February, 2012
One of the many arcane dimensions of the energy world is the requirements of the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS). In a nutshell, the RPS requires electricity suppliers to utilize a certain percentage of renewable energy in their sales. Suppliers meet that requirement by purchasing Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which are generated from qualifying renewable energy sources, e.g. wind, solar, methane gas, etc. In order to prevent the price of RECs from being too outrageously high when there is

There’s Nothing New or Renewable About Northern Pass

By Cynthia A. Arcate 20 October, 2011
Perhaps you’ve seen commercials on New England Cable News about the Northern Pass project. So far, I’ve seen two commercials – one that didn’t even say Northern Pass is an energy project, the other mentioned renewable hydro power but didn’t mention that the core of the project are massive new transmission lines. The pitch has been all jobs and greenness. At that rate, most people probably have no idea what it is, much less whether they are in favor of

Plotting a Rational Approach to the Development of Renewable Energy

By Cynthia A. Arcate 30 September, 2011
Lots of attention has been paid to the financial subsidies the state and federal government have provided for the development of renewable energy (see last week’s blog). What the general public is much less aware of are the subsidies that come directly from ratepayers through their electric rates. These subsidies are part of a patchwork of regional programs supporting the development of renewable resources. As part of the Electric Restructuring Act of 1997, Massachusetts became the first state in the