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STATEMENT FROM ADVANCED ENERGY ECONOMY ON EPA’S FINAL RULE UNDER SECTION 111(D) OF THE CLEAN AIR ACT (CLEAN POWER PLAN) WITH REGARD TO VIRGINIA

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[Washington, DC – August 3, 2015]: Advanced Energy Economy issued the following statement in response to the Environmental Protection Agency’s final rule for carbon emissions from the electric power sector:

“With the Clean Power Plan now final, the question is not whether to reduce carbon emissions from the electric power sector in Virginia but how,” said Graham Richard, CEO of Advanced Energy Economy, a national business association. “By making use of technologies and services such as energy efficiency, demand response, renewable energy, and energy storage, Virginia will be able to lower costs, improve reliability, and increase consumer choice as it reduces emissions. With advanced energy a $200 billion industry nationwide, AEE’s member companies stand ready to help state regulators develop a plan that meets EPA’s target for the state, improves electric power service for business and residential customers, and helps build the Virginia economy at the same time.”

Background:

Today, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final rule for carbon emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP sets state-by-state targets for emission reductions, but allows states to develop their own compliance plans. The state targets are based on what EPA determined to be the “best system of emission reduction” (BSER). In the final rule, EPA based the BSER on state-specific potentials for emission reductions from a set of “Building Blocks” that include both traditional smokestack controls as well as “beyond the fence line” measures. Although emission rate targets are set by the building blocks, there is no requirement that states use those specific measures for compliance.

The CPP presents an opportunity for states to modernize and upgrade their electricity systems by allowing them to draw from a range of advanced energy technologies and services, including energy efficiency, demand response, energy service company (ESCO) projects, natural gas, wind, solar, smart grid, nuclear power, fuel cells, combined heat and power, and transmission and distribution system efficiencies. Used together, these technologies and services create and maintain a high-performing energy system—one that is reliable and resilient, diverse, cost-effective, and clean—while also enabling new customer services.

Advanced energy is defined as a broad category of technologies and products, made up of the best products and services in seven major industry segments: building efficiency, electricity generation, transportation, fuel production, industry, electricity delivery and management, and fuel delivery. 

In April, AEE published a report analyzing scenarios for Virginia’s Clean Power Plan compliance. That report, Assessing Virginia’s Energy Future: Employment Impacts of Clean Power Plan Compliance Scenarios, showed that the Commonwealth could create thousands of permanent and temporary jobs by making investments to diversify its power sources with renewable energy, energy efficiency, and natural gas generating plants – and more than double the new jobs if the state pursued a long-sought goal of eliminating electricity imports from out of state. The full report is available for download here.

For background on Virginia’s electricity system and the Clean Power Plan, with chart of current power generation mix, click here.

About Advanced Energy Economy

Advanced Energy Economy is a national association of businesses that are making the global energy system more secure, clean and affordable. Advanced energy encompasses a broad range of products and services that constitute the best available technologies for meeting energy needs today and tomorrow. AEE’s mission is to transform public policy to enable rapid growth of advanced energy businesses. AEE and its State Partner organizations, which are active in 26 states across the country, represent more than 1,000 organizations in the advanced energy industry.

Media Contact:

Monique Hanis, mhanis@aee.net, 202-391-0884. 

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