A regional environmental group is urging Connecticut officials and those in other New England states to take a series of steps to reduce air pollution.
Environment Northeast, or ENE as it is known, released a report Monday called “EnergyVision: A Pathway to a Modern, Sustainable Low Carbon Economic and Environmental Future.” The 24-page report calls for reforms in four areas that the group claims will produce a cleaner, lower-cost energy system in the region.
Those reforms include making broader use of electric vehicles; modernizing the regional power grid; expanding the use of renewable energy; and improving upon energy efficiency efforts.
“Driven by greater investments in energy efficiency, renewable power and market shifts from fossil-based fuels like coal and oil to natural gas, some regions of the country, including the Northeast, are already reducing pollution from electricity generation,” Daniel Sosland, president and chief executive officer of ENE, said in a statement.
The incentive to improve energy efficiency is an economic one as well as an environmental one, according to the report. Energy savings through greater efficiency would provide the region with $19.5 billion in economic benefits, the report states.
Jamie Howland, director of ENE’s Climate and Energy Analysis Center and lead author of the report, said while Connecticut has made great strides in improving energy efficiency in recent years, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are doing a better job at setting and achieving targets in that area.
Howland said the use of clean energy in the region has increased by about 25 percent since 1990. During a period between 2001 and 2012, the share of electricity produced in New England by using oil and coal-fired power plants fell from 27 percent of all electric generation to less than 3 percent.
“It’s mainly a function of market conditions,” Howland said of the decrease of electricity produced by oil and coal-fired power plants.
Call Luther Turmelle at 203-789-5706. ___