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National Grid Releases Northeast 80x50 Pathway

 

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National Grid, one of the nation's largest investor-owned utilities, released the "Northeast 80x50 Pathway," a blueprint for drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050 ("80x50"). The Pathway is the first of its kind in the Northeast. National Grid's goal is consistent with the states they serve - New York, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. The Northeast 80x50 Pathway includes in-depth modeling and analysis addressing the three most carbon-intensive sectors in the Northeast- heating, power generation, and transportation.

"For National Grid, climate change isn't a political question, but scientific fact, and we believe that innovation and a diverse set of stakeholders at the table will enable us to reach the clean energy future that we all want," said Dean Seavers, US President of National Grid. "Combatting climate change will require inclusive discussions that span multiple organizations and industries, and we hope the Northeast 80x50 Pathway serves as a launching point for those conversations."

The Pathway calls for three big shifts in our energy systems by a mid-term goal of 40% reduction in emissions by 2030 in order to achieve the long-term goal of 80% by 2050:

  • Heat - A transformation of the heat sector, by doubling the rate of efficiency retrofits and converting nearly all of the region's 5 million oil-heated buildings to electric heat pumps or natural gas; and
  • Power Generation - Accelerating the zero-carbon electricity transition, by ramping up renewable electricity deployment to achieve 67% zero-carbon electricity supply;
  • Transportation - A transformation of the transport sector, by reaching more than 10 million electric vehicles on Northeast roads (roughly 50% of all vehicles)

Beyond the 40% reduction target for 2030, the Pathway finds that in order to achieve the 80% target by 2050, the Northeast will require deeper and more sustained technological innovation on both the grid side and customer side of the meter, coupled with ambitious policy.

In National Grid service territory, the legal basis for the 80x50 targets includes the Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) (2008)New York Executive Order No. 24 (2009), and the Resilient Rhode Island Act (2014).

National Grid worked alongside Siemens Power Technology International's leading experts on climate change and energy sector emissions to develop the Pathway. The company will be engaging with various stakeholders in the coming months and years to reach the 80x50 goal.

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