The Clean Energy Promise eBook: It’s Time to Put a Price on Carbon — With Customers in Mind
As lawmakers take their oaths of office and begin to set policy agendas, establishing an economywide price on carbon should be at the top of their lists.
Everything I read and hear about carbon pricing rarely shares the customer’s point of view. That’s a shame. I’d argue that the only way we’ll likely see success with enacting an economy-wide carbon price is evaluating all policies through a customer lens.
Over the last decade, the Northeast has meaningfully reduced the power generating sector’s carbon emissions by participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a marketbased construct that incorporates a moderate price on carbon.
National Grid continues to support RGGI and recommends that policy makers build upon its success by applying a carbon price to fossil fuel use to lower carbon emissions beyond just the power generation sector, but in the transportation and heating sectors too.
Carbon Pricing Key to Achieving 80x50
In June, we released our Northeast 80x50 Pathway, a detailed blueprint of ways for New York and New England to achieve their goals of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 80 percent below 1990 baselines by 2050 (80x50), with an interim goal of a 40 percent emissions reduction by 2030.
The Pathway identifies specific milestones in power generation, transportation, and heating that the region will need to achieve
on the road to a cleaner energy future.These three milestones can be supported by carbon pricing:
- Our study shows that by 2030, the power sector will need to be 67 percent zero-carbon and effectively a carbon-free system by 2050, with renewable energy playing an important role. Carbon pricing would provide long-term price signals for cost-effective clean energy investment and funding for energy efficiency, renewable deployment incentives, and research development and deployment (RD&D) for new clean energy options.
- The transportation sector has quite the hill to climb, but it’s doable. By 2030, 100 percent of light-duty vehicle (LDV) sales will need to be electric, and by 2050, 100 percent of LDVs on the road must be electric. New zero-carbon options will be required for medium- and heavy-duty vehicles, as well as non-road uses such as ships, railroads, and aviation. Carbon pricing would make the total cost of ownership for electric vehicles (EVs) competitive with traditional internal combustion engine vehicles, and carbon revenue could fund incentives for EVs and charging stations.
- Home and business heating is also a significant challenge especially in the Northeast. To meet a 40 percent target of decreased carbon emissions by 2030, the Northeast would require a doubling of energy efficiency retrofits, tripling the rate of oil-to-gas conversions, and up to ten times the current oil-to-electric conversions. By 2050, the heating sector would need sustained efficiency investment and conversion to heat pumps; steady decarbonization through renewable natural gas, hydrogen and synthetic fuels; and the conversion of many natural gas homes to hybrid natural gasheat pump configurations.
Carbon pricing would improve the attractiveness of oil-to-gas and oil-to-electric heating conversions for customers, cut energy efficiency costs, and fund deployment incentives and low-carbon heating RD&D.
Read the rest of the It’s Time to Put a Price on Carbon — With Customers chapter from National Grid's eBook The Clean Energy Promise.
About the Author
Dean Seavers joined National Grid in 2014 as U.S. President. Dean’s career as a value creator has included leadership roles at GE, United Technologies, and Tyco. He led GE Security, a $2 billion product and technology group, and he also led a $4 billion global services portfolio for United Technologies. Dean was a founding partner of Red Hawk Fire & Security and led its emergence as the second largest independent fire and security platform in the U.S.
Dean is a strategic leader with a background in team building, performance improvement, and operational leadership. At National Grid, his focus is on continuing the performance progress that underpins the company’s $7 billion business in the U.S. while driving its clean energy transition agenda of building the advanced natural gas and electricity networks that are necessary for our 21st century digital economy.
A native of Sandusky, Ohio, Dean graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in business from Kent State University and earned an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business
About National Grid
National Grid (NYSE: NGG) is an electricity, natural gas, and clean energy delivery company serving more than 20 million people through our networks in New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. National Grid is transforming our electricity and natural gas networks with smarter, cleaner, and more resilient energy solutions to meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050.
Read more about our innovative projects in “The Clean Energy Promise,” an eBook written by National Grid’s U.S. president, Dean Seavers. For more information, please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook, and find our photos on Instagram. For more information please visit our website, follow us on Twitter, watch us on YouTube, friend us on Facebook and find our photos on Instagram.