Virginia AEE Supports Carbon Emission Trading Program as Economic Driver for Commonwealth
Modeling finds regulation proposed by DEQ could reduce electricity rates, boost economy with up to $4.6 billion in investment and up to 40,000 new advanced energy jobs
RICHMOND, April 9, 2018 – Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (Virginia AEE) submitted comments today regarding the carbon dioxide (CO2) emission trading program proposed by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). In the comments, Virginia AEE expressed its support for the proposed regulation, noting that it will help make Virginia’s energy more secure, clean, and affordable, while driving up to $4.6 billion in in-state investment and adding up to 40,000 new advanced energy jobs.
Using the State Tool for Electricity Emission Reductions (STEER), an integrated resource-planning tool built to identify the least-cost way to implement CO2 regulations, Virginia AEE modeled possible compliance pathways. It found that utilizing a diverse portfolio of advanced energy resources – including both renewable energy and energy efficiency – Virginia could reduce emissions by over 13.3 million tons between 2020 and 2030, far surpassing the reduction targets in the draft regulation.
Virginia AEE’s modeling, also demonstrates that, if the Commonwealth employs an array of advanced energy technologies and services to meet its carbon reduction targets, Virginians will enjoy a number of benefits, including:
- Stable, and potentially lower, electricity rates as savings from energy efficiency improvements defray the need for new infrastructure investments
- 30,000–40,000 new jobs in construction, operation, and maintenance of new renewable energy systems and energy efficiency projects;
- Between $1.3 billion and $4.6 billion in new in-state investment;
- $80M to $420M in additional state and local tax revenue from renewable projects.
These findings were summarized in Virginia AEE’s comments, Carbon Mitigation & Advanced Energy in Virginia, and can be downloaded here.
“This analysis shows that Virginia can surpass the targets in the proposed regulation, while reducing costs to customers,” said Harrison Godfrey, Executive Director of Virginia AEE. “What is more, the Commonwealth can create greater prosperity – new jobs and more investment – by using advanced energy to meet these targets.”
Today is the deadline for the public to submit comments on the proposed regulation. Staff at DEQ will review the comments with the goal of finalizing the regulation in coming months. Governor Northam has signaled he would like to see the rule in place before the end of 2018.
About AEE and Virginia AEE
In Virginia, Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) operates as Virginia Advanced Energy Economy (Virginia AEE), a group of businesses that are making the energy we use secure, clean, and affordable. Virginia AEE seeks to drive the development of advanced energy to boost the state’s economy and competitiveness by working to remove policy barriers, identify market growth opportunities, encourage market-based policies, establish public and private partnerships, and serve as the voice for companies innovating in the advanced energy sector. Follow our latest news @AEEnet.
Monique Hanis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-391-0884 (O), 202-236-8220 (C)
See this statement online here.