Help wanted: Massachusetts looks for energy transition advisers

Source: By Benjamin Storrow, E&E News • Posted: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

The state needs help bridging the gap between older fossil fuel plants and renewable energy projects.

Maura Healey speaks at the Vatican in May.

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) has proposed ambitious climate goals. Domenico Stinellis/AP

Massachusetts is looking for help to solve some of the trickiest questions in the energy transition.

State officials are forming an Energy Transformation Advisory Board to offer recommendations to the recently created Office of Energy Transformation. It will focus on three of the thorniest questions facing the Bay State: the future of an existing liquefied natural gas import terminal outside Boston, how to supply clean electricity during periods of peak demand and establishing alternative mechanisms for financing clean energy investments.

“The clean energy future will not happen if we operate in silos,” Democratic Gov. Maura Healey said in a statement. “The Office of Energy Transformation and this newly-created Advisory Board is an invitation to everyone impacted to come to the table, bring solutions, and make real commitments to move us forward.”

State law requires Massachusetts to cut greenhouse gases 50 percent of 1990 levels by 2030. As of 2020, the most recent year for which data is available, emissions were 30 percent below 1990 levels. Reaching the target will be a challenge.