On to "Plan B"; New report outlines US transition to a clean energy future

A Path For Breaking Away From "Business As Usual" Reliance on Dirty Energy.

With 2010 action by Congress now uncertain on climate and energy issues, Synapse Energy Economics of Cambridge, MA., will release a new report on May 11, 2010 detailing how the United States could make the transition to a clean electricity future.

The report, prepared for the nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute (CSI), outlines a transition to a healthier, safer power industry and provides details on what this transition might look like in the various regions of the U.S.

The Synapse report for CSI develops a scenario for 2010- 2050 in which the country:

  • Cuts electricity use by 15 percent from today's requirements through increased energy efficiency, or over 40 percent from a "business as usual" (BAU) scenario.
  • Retires the existing fleet of coal-fired power plants and builds no new coal-fired generation, rather than burning more coal. Tens of billions of dollars could be saved in avoided pollution control costs at the coal-fired plants retired between 2010 and 2020.
  • Reduces electric sector emissions of carbon dioxide by 82 percent relative to projected 2010 levels, and virtually eliminates emissions of sulfur dioxide and mercury.
  • Boosts renewable energy -- including wind, solar, geothermal and biomass -- throughout the nation, eventually providing for half of the nation's electricity requirements.
  • Achieves all of the above with long-term savings relative to a BAU energy future .

The nonprofit and nonpartisan Civil Society Institute based in Newton, MA., (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. 

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