Editor’s Note: WRI Expert Kristin Meek will testify at Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection listening session on Wednesday, November 4
WASHINGTON (November 4, 2015)–New analysis from World Resources Institute shows that Pennsylvania can meet or exceed its emissions target under the EPA’s Clean Power Plan for reducing emissions from the power sector. Kristin Meek, lead author of the new fact sheet How Pennsylvania Can Meet Its Clean Power Plan Targets, will give remarks on November 4 at a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection listening session in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
By following through on its existing energy efficiency and renewable energy policies and making better use of the state’s fossil power plants, Pennsylvania can reduce its existing power plant emissions 13 percent below 2012 levels by 2030, more than half way to the state’s 25 percent reductions target. By expanding the state’s clean energy targets after the initial targets are met in 2020-21, in addition to making better use of the existing fossil fleet, Pennsylvania can reduce existing power plant emissions 46 percent below 2012 levels by 2030.
“Pennsylvania is in a great position to build on its current progress in order to meet its Clean Power Plan goals.” said Sam Adams, director, U.S. Climate Initiative, WRI. “Its energy efficiency and alternative energy policies have created jobs and spurred in-state investment. Investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy pay off with cleaner air and savings on resident’s energy bills, which are among the highest in the nation.”
The following are ways that energy efficiency and clean energy policies benefit Pennsylvania:
Capital investment in wind power in Pennsylvania has reached nearly $3 billion.
In Phase I of its energy efficiency program (2011-2013), Pennsylvania utilities exceeded efficiency targets, generating $2.5 billion in verified benefits to consumers. Phases II and III aim to expand utility efficiency further by 2020.
Pennsylvania’s Public Utility Commission found that the state has even more cost-effective efficiency potential available—that could result in around $2.8 billion in net benefits over the next 10 years.
“This report shows that the Clean Power Plan goals are not only achievable, they present an opportunity for Pennsylvania.” Rob Altenburg, director, PennFuture Energy Center. “We can grow our economy while protecting our health and the environment, but we need to make responsible choices and we need to act now.”
Under the Clean Power Plan, states that exceed their targets can sell emissions allowances to other states. The WRI analysis shows that if Pennsylvania reduces its emissions by 46% below 2012 levels by 2030, the state could generate over $160 million per year in revenue between 2022 and 2030 by selling allowances.
“Our analysis shows that Pennsylvania can meet or even exceed its Clean Power Plan emissions reductions target by making better use of its existing fossil fuel fleet and utilizing more of the state’s efficiency and renewable potential by expanding its clean energy policies,” said Kristin Meek, research associate, WRI. “By expanding its clean energy policies, Pennsylvania can scale up their benefits, reduce the need to invest in new natural gas plants, and achieve deeper reductions more cost-effectively.”
The new analysis is the second in a series from WRI, How States Can Meet Their Clean Power Plan Targets, which examines how selected states can meet, or even exceed, their standards under the CPP while minimizing compliance costs, ensuring reliability, and harnessing economic opportunities in clean energy.