Here in New England, we’re hearing about a lot of proposed energy projects, from wind farms and natural gas pipelines to hydro and solar arrays. The debate circling around these proposals is rooted in the region’s continued search for solutions to the volatile equation of declining sources of power and sharply rising prices. It’s no wonder officials say we’re in the midst of an energy crisis.
Forging a path towards lower costs and greater energy reliability has been hampered by debate over individual projects and disagreement over how to shape forward-looking energy policy. But there is good news. In the absence of consensus, market solutions are in fact developing.
The latest project announced last week would upgrade natural gas pipelines into the region to relieve the cold weather bottlenecks that have added billions of dollars to the wholesale cost of energy and severely threatened reliability. Elsewhere, smaller scale projects continue to explore wind and solar technologies while hydropower is positioned to answer the region’s call for significant amounts of clean energy. New England can also be proud of the strides being made in energy efficiency (though they still are not enough to offset the declining sources of power).
Energy is a booming business across the country. Cities elsewhere in America are experiencing a renaissance thanks to, among other things, the “shale gas revolution.” Hopefully New England, already at an economic disadvantage due to high energy costs, will soon catch up.
Vermont Yankee scales back power output, but not staff
Steep increase in electricity rates predicted
Salem power plant proposal gets lifeline from FERC despite rivals’ opposition
(Boston Business Journal)
Group slams federal energy regulators over alleged market manipulation
(New Haven Register)
Utilities plan $3 billion natural gas pipeline
(New Hampshire Union Leader)
Powered by the sun – via panels many miles away
(Portland Press Herald)
Energy: What Americans really want
Efficiency, Renewables Cut Away At Growth In New England Electricity Use
Boom in Energy Spurs Industry in the Rust Belt
(New York Times)