- The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) has finalized the state's 2018 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES), and recommended doubling the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 40% by 2030.
- The new renewables goal is a significant step up and higher than previously considered. State law currently sets the RPS at 20%, and the draft CES released last year had suggested a smaller increase to 30%.
- The proposal also includes a focus on grid modernization efforts and reliability, and developing new markets and funding sources for energy efficiency.
Connecticut's finalized CES focuses on eight strategies ranging from efficiency to electric vehicles to doubling the renewable energy goal. The finalized report suggests the state "should continue growth in renewable energy requirements and increase the pace of growth to 2 percent per year."
The agency called the goal an "ambitious trajectory, and said its recommendations would "significantly increase demand for new, zero-emitting renewables in the state and region."
But the agency also said the costs of adding more renewable energy would be difficult to estimate because new transmission lines would likely be needed, and the state already rejected the Northern Pass transmission project. To limit ratepayer exposure, the agency recommended lowering the alternative compliance payment for Class I renewables.
“Strengthening Connecticut’s commitment to energy efficiency and renewable generation rank high on the list of CES priorities," DEEP Deputy Commissioner Mary Sotos said in a statement.
The first strategy addressed by the CES is to "ensure sustainable and equitable funding for efficiency." Possible approaches include developing sustainable funding for efficiency investments, developing equitable solutions for ol and propane conservation, and for the state to"catalyze the competitiveness of Connecticut’s businesses with increased energy productivity."
The report also recommends transforming the market energy efficiency industry, possibly by integrating it with real estate market forces and developing a unified set of codes and standards.
The comprehensive report also suggests expanding deployment "of all cost-effective distributed generation," initiating grid modernization proceedings, and integrating efficiency, storage and renewables to manage peak demand.