Happy summer – we hope you are finding ways to enjoy the heat!
We want to share a couple of upcoming events with you. First, our two interns, featured below, will be presenting the results of their research at our Intern Lunch and Learn on August 11th at noon. You won’t want to miss the chance to hear about their 10-week research projects, which explore designing equitable clean transportation policy for Vermont, and workforce needs for scaling up EVs to achieve Vermont’s Climate Action Plan. Register here, and see more about the interns and their projects below.
War and Warming Upend Global Energy Supplies and Amplify Suffering
The Ukrainian war and scorching heat around the world in the past month have exacerbated financial and physical suffering. Countries around the world are grappling with how to respond to the energy disruptions, including how to secure reliable electricity for their citizens.
New England grid capacity likely to rise over 100% by 2042 amid heating, transportation electrification: ISO
Through an additional 1.1 million expected heat pumps and 1.5 million electric vehicles, the regional grid operator forecasts 3,000 MW greater demand by 2031. This means ISO-NE expects greater use of renewables, but also balancing resources for reliability, with some resources retiring.
A recent report out of the Regulatory Assistance Project (RAP) details how a Clean Heat Standard, a policy developed here in Vermont, could function in the state of Massachusetts. A Clean Heat Standard is one of the regulatory options being considered by the MA Commission on Clean Heat and was included in the MA Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030.
Data Download – Lifetime costs & emissions of lawn equipment
EAN’s 2022 Annual Progress Report for Vermont on Emissions, Energy, Equity, and the Economy will be released in early September. This new graphic from the upcoming report details the costs of some key summer equipment: lawnmowers and chainsaws. It compares the upfront and lifetime costs of fossil-fuel vs electric equipment, as well as the carbon emissions from each type of machinery. The electric options are unmatched in their carbon savings, and often are more affordable, especially when considering all costs. Many Vermont utilities make the electric options more accessible through rebates that bring down the purchase price. Those rebates are not included in this graph.
EAN is in the midst of our third annual summer internship program. The program, designed and run by EAN Senior Fellow Christine Donovan, gives two college students or recent graduates the opportunity to develop an in-depth 10 week research project. We are pleased to introduce you to our two 2022 interns and their projects. We hope you will join the lunch-and-learn on August 11 at noon to hear all about their research.
Exploring the Workforce Type and Size Needed to Achieve the Vermont Climate Action Plan’s EV Scale-Up
The purpose of this project is to research, describe, and estimate the workforce that will be needed in Vermont to achieve the large and rapid scale up in electrical vehicle use established for the transportation sector in the Vermont Climate Action Plan. This work will contribute to
workforce development activities and initiatives underway (or planned) by the EAN Climate Workforce Network Action Team, as well as various workforce development and training
agencies and organizations in Vermont. The topics to be addressed include: estimating the workforce type and size necessary, researching the necessary training to create the workforce, and exploring the different sources of workforce growth.
Una will be entering her last semester at Middlebury College this fall, where she is majoring in Environmental Policy. Her passion for the topic was solidified working as an intern at the Walking Mountains Science Center in Avon, Colorado, researching local climate solutions, calculating their GHG impacts, and presenting the successful behavior change campaigns to government officials and business leaders. When two of her campaigns were adopted across the county, she realized the tangible impacts she could have in communities. Una hopes to continue her career exploring the fields of environmental policy, environmental justice, and sustainable development.
Designing Equitable Clean Transportation Policy for Vermont: Centering Equity and
Climate Justice in Cap-And-Invest and Performance Standards
This presentation will provide an overview of the findings of a 10-week research project on equitable clean transportation policy. This research examined cap-and-invest programs and fuel performance standards in six jurisdictions in the US and Canada, with a specific focus on how those programs have been designed to address issues of equity and environmental justice. This
presentation will discuss best practices for equitable program design and provide a set of policy
recommendations for Vermont.
Lena is a senior at the University of Vermont, pursuing a BA in Environmental Studies and Political Science. Having grown up in Burlington, she has been passionate about advocating for climate action in Vermont since her high school years. Prior to joining EAN’s internship program, Milena has worked in research and data analysis roles with Global Footprint Network and the CGIAR Research Program on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security. She is excited to contribute to EAN’s work toward achieving Vermont’s climate goals.
Presented by Una Darrell and Milena Stier with support from EAN Senior Fellow Christine Donovan, the summer interns will review the findings of their research, as described above. Join us on August 11th at noon.
PSD RFI for Input on Vermont’s Renewable Electricity Policy and Programs
The Department of Public Service (PSD) is soliciting feedback for its upcoming comprehensive review of Vermont’s renewable and clean electricity policies and programs, including the Renewable Energy Standard (RES), Standard Offer, and Net Metering programs. The RFI seeks to gather input on several key topics related to this effort including: the engagement effort for the process, core decision-making criteria to consider, and initial issues for consideration related to renewable electricity in Vermont. Responses to the RFI are due by August 5. Or consider joining a webinar hosted by VECAN and the PSD about this process, held on July 29th at noon, at this link.
The Vermont Council on Rural Development (VCRD) is inviting Vermonters of all backgrounds who are working with a goal of improving life in their community to attend the 2022 Community Leadership Summit on Wednesday, August 10, at Vermont Technical College.
Several EAN Member organizations are involved in gathering support for Vermont’s adoption of the Advanced Clean Cars II and Advanced Clean Truck Rules. If you are interested in seeing, and possibly signing on to their letter of support, you can see more here.
Vermont Climate Council Meetings
All Vermont Climate Council meetings and subcommittee meetings are open to the public, with all details on the Climate Council website.
The Vermont Total Energy Ticker
State seeks public input on broad array of climate-focused energy policies
The Department of Public Service is seeking input from the public about how the electric sector should meet its climate goals, particularly regarding the Renewable Energy Standard. While such a policy can be obscure to those less invested in the matter, the PSD is creating a process to invite more public consultation.
Big incentive increase to help weatherize more Vermont homes
Efficiency Vermont announced an increase in Weatherization incentives. Vermont households making less than 120% of area median income (most Vermont households) can now get an incentive covering 75% of contractor-led project costs up to $5,000. Summer investments mean winter savings.
State pushes forward with California car emissions rule, but that won’t close the 2030 emissions gap
This regulation would prevent manufacturers from selling new internal combustion vehicles into the state by 2035, limiting new sales only to hybrid or fully electric vehicles. However, concerns still arise about Vermont’s ability to meet its 2030 GHG emissions reduction requirements.