|Recent CSI Headline|
Report: Good News is that "Plan B" for WA, OR, NV, ID, UT, WY and MT Looks Positive; Region is Ideally Positioned to Emerge as "Leader in Clean Energy Tech Development."
SEATTLE, WA - The U.S region consisting of Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada would fare the best of all the major sections of the U.S. under a transition to a clean-energy electricity future, according to an analysis released today by Synapse Energy Economics, Inc., for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI) think tank.
Following up on a May 2010 report by Synapse for CSI, the new Synapse analysis outlines an approach under which: " ... aggressive energy efficiency in the Northwest pushes down demand, and the region develops its ample wind, geothermal and biomass resources." Because the Northwest has a relatively small amount of coal and nuclear capacity and an extensive renewable resource base, the transition is much easier there than in many other regions. In fact, over time the Northwest exports more electricity [than under the status quo] with net exports rising from 31 terawatt hours (TWh) in 2010 to 53 TWh in 2050. This resource development path would bring energy jobs to the region and could make the Northwest a leader in clean energy technology development."
Key aspects of the report's "Transition Scenario" for Washington state, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Utah and Nevada include the following:
The path outlined in the Synapse/CSI analysis report also would mean cleaner air in the Northwest U.S., and dramatically reduced with carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the electric sector – down 94 percent, compared to a 30 percent increase for the region under status quo trends. Similarly, toxic mercury emissions would fall a full 100 percent, compared to no change under the status quo. Water consumption by power plants also would fall considerably.
Pam Solo, president, Civil Society Institute, said: "The Northwest U.S. is at a crossroads today. While the electric power industry remains obsessed with such dirty and needlessly expensive 19th and 20th century 'business as usual' solutions as coal-fired and nuclear power, there is an opportunity today to make the transition without multi-billion dollar gambles on unproven carbon capture and sequestration technology and risky nuclear loan-guarantee bailouts. In the wake of the failed Federal action on climate legislation, leadership from the states is even more important. The Synapse Energy Economics report shows that a clean energy future is within our grasp. It will take political will and leadership from outside Washington."
Geoff Keith, researcher and associate, Synapse Energy Economics Inc., said: "Our analysis shows that the Northwest U.S. is ideally positioned to benefit by transitioning away from coal and nuclear electricity and toward increased efficiency and renewable energy. The focus of the study is on what resources would be likely to replace coal-fired and nuclear generation, where those resources either are or need to be located, and what this resource mix would cost relative to a 'business as usual' energy future. By all of those standards, the Northwest U.S. region comes out as a winner. On a national level, we see that a future built on more efficient use of electricity and development of the nation's renewable resources would pose modest near-term costs but would cost less than 'business as usual' over the long term."
CSI energy advisor Grant Smith, who also is executive director, Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana, said: "Clearly, there are many advantages for the Northwest U.S. that the 'Transition' scenario has over today's failed business-as-usual approach. Given the substantial financial, public health and environmental risks posed by coal-fired and nuclear power, there is a moral and ethical imperative to eliminate these resources from the electric generation mix in the Northwest U.S. and elsewhere."
NATIONAL REPORT FINDINGS
A major May 2010 Synapse report for the Civil Society Institute developed a scenario for 2010- 2050 that would provide the following benefits:
The full text of the Civil Society Institute reports prepared by Synapse Energy Economics are available online at http:///www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org.
ABOUT THE GROUPS
Based in Newton, MA., the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (http://www.CivilSocietyInstitute.org) is a think tank that serves as a catalyst for change by creating problem-solving interactions among people, and between communities, government and business that can help to improve society. Since 2003, CSI has conducted more than 25 major national and state-level surveys and reports on energy and auto issues, including vehicle fuel-efficiency standards, consumer demand for hybrids/other highly-fuel efficient vehicles, global warming and renewable energy. In addition to being a co-convener of TheCLEAN.org (http://www.TheClean.org), the Civil Society Institute also is the parent organization of 40MPG.org (http://www.40MPG.org) and the Hybrid Owners of America (http://www.HybridOwnersofAmerica.org).
Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. (http://www.synapse-energy.com/) provides research, testimony, reports and regulatory support on energy, economic, and environmental topics. Synapse has a professional staff of 22 with more than 300 years of combined experience in the electricity and natural gas industries. Synapse assesses the implications of electricity and natural gas industry planning, regulation and restructuring. Their work covers various interrelated issues such as transmission planning, service reliability, siting, fuel diversity, resource planning, financial and economic risks, renewable energy potential and renewable portfolio standards, energy efficiency, electricity modeling, portfolio management, customer service and more. Synapse works for a wide range of clients throughout the United States, including attorneys general, offices of consumer advocates, public utility commissions, a variety of environmental groups, foundations, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy, Department of Justice, the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, and others.
CONTACT: Alex Grodin, (571) 340-0085 or email@example.com.