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Public Service Department Releases Vermont Total Energy Study

Vermont’s statutory goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 75 percent by 2050 and its Comprehensive Energy Plan goal of meeting 90 percent of the state’s energy needs with renewable energy by 2050 are ambitious and will require effective policy and technology pathways to be realized. The Public Service Department recently released a “Total Energy Study” that examines the costs, benefits, and challenges associated with various combinations of policy and technology strategies.

The Total Energy Study uses modeling that assesses the impacts associated with three routes to the 2050 goals: a revenue-neutral Carbon Tax Shift, a Total Renewable Energy and Efficiency Standard (TREES), and TREES with a local energy requirement. The fundamental conclusion of the study is that Vermont can achieve its greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and its renewable energy goals while maintaining or increasing Vermont’s economic prosperity. However, to do so will require significant changes in energy policy, fuel supply, infrastructure, and technology.

The BCRC will be working with the Public Service Department and two other regional planning commissions over the coming year to develop a plan, using the Total Energy Study as a guide, that will result in specific strategies for energy conservation in space heating, electricity, and transportation, conversion to alternative fuels, and development of renewable energy.