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  • Writer's pictureBen Haley

Decarbonizing the Northeast

Updated: Aug 15, 2019

The Future of Energy Global Summit, New York – Evolved Energy Research is a partner on a new report released today in collaboration with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and Hydro-Québec on meeting 2050 carbon emissions targets in New York and New England and the value of greater cross-border coordination with Québec.

The study describes a road-map for reaching an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels in the Northeast by 2050 and finds that savings of $4 billion per year are possible through shared infrastructure with Hydro-Québec.

The actions necessary for decarbonization can be summarized into three categories: electrification of end-uses, decarbonization of electricity, and greater energy efficiency. Benchmarks for these actions in the Northeast by 2050 were found to be:

  • 3x increase in the share of energy from electricity

  • 87% decrease in the emissions intensity of electricity generation

  • 40% drop in final energy use per capita (no drop in energy services)

Electricity systems are the nexus for deep decarbonization through electrification and decarbonizing supply, and to reach an 87% drop in emissions intensity using the preferred strategy of wind and solar presents large challenges. The study found that closer coordination between the Northeast and Hydro-Québec can have significant value by offsetting the need for the most expensive electricity resources in the Northeast (offshore-wind and biomass) and by helping balance the intermittent electricity supply in a high renewables system.

Download the slides shown at the press conference.

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