Donate Menu

The Carbon-Free Regions Handbook: Electricity

  |  By 
Handbook Download

Download this report

The future is electric. Buildings, vehicles, industrial processes, and consumer products are increasingly turning to electricity for power.

We must make sure that our sources for electricity come from renewable or zero-emission energy. Since utilities, electric grids, and rate design usually happen at a regional scale, this is a critical area to drive change.

Developed in partnership with the Under2 Coalition 

Action 10: Renewable Portfolio Standard

Description

Require electric utilities to secure a minimum percentage of their electricity from renewable generation sources, focusing on ambitious “reach” targets or even 100% renewable energy. This should be paired with an energy efficiency resource standard (See recommendation on Robust Regional Efficiency.

Action Documents

  • HB623. Hawaii state legislation enacting 100% RPS
  • Australian Capital Territory Next Generation Renewables Auction Request for Proposals
Recommended Resources

With 100% renewable electricity in 2020 locked in, we will reduce emissions by 40%. Our next challenge is net-zero emissions by 2045.

‐Shane Rattenbury, Minister for Climate Change, Justice, Corrections, Consumer Affairs, Mental Health, and Road Safety, Government of Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Action 11: Coal Plant Replacement

Description

Phase out coal-fired electricity generation through a combination of accelerated retirement for existing plants, emissions caps, a carbon tax, or other regulatory standards, and policies that prohibit financing of, and/or place an outright moratorium on, new coal-fired power plant construction. Provide viable alternatives in regions where coal-fired generation is expanding due to population and demand growth and rural electrification.

Action Documents

Recommended Resources

Action 12: Responsive Rate Design

Description

Require utilities to evolve from legacy “block” rates to technology-agnostic, modernized rate designs—such as granular time-of-use pricing and real-time dynamic pricing—that better reflect the reality of today’s and tomorrow’s grid, and that appropriately value the costs and benefits of distributed energy resources, energy efficiency, and flexible demand.

Action Documents

Recommended Resources

Action 13: Responsive Grid Planning

Description

Make distributed energy resources (DERs)—including customer-sited renewables, behind-the-meter storage, energy efficiency, and flexible demand—a central part of an integrated, modernized grid and resource planning process. Revise legacy processes that make sweeping assumptions about demand growth and meet that demand exclusively through centralized bulk generation.

Action Documents

Recommended Resources

Action 14: Community Solar

Description

Make the benefits of distributed solar photovoltaics (PV) accessible and more affordable for customers beyond the reach of rooftop PV through community-scale solar PV projects located in or near the communities they serve. Leverage various combinations of fractional project ownership or investment, subscription to projects’ solar generation output, and virtual metering that credits a customer’s utility bill.

Action Documents

Recommended Resources

Minnesota’s success with community solar offers a valuable model for broad-based solar growth.

‐Bill Grant, Deputy Commissioner of Division of Energy Resources, Minnesota, USA

Get More Action Docs

Browse Additional Recommendations by Sector

Buildings

More efficient buildings provide multiple benefits including lower emissions, greater comfort, improved health, and lower ongoing costs.

learn more
Mobility

Regional governments can enable cities to invest in better mobility options, lowering emissions while increasing mobility choices and improving health.

learn more
Electricity

Ensuring that our electricity comes from renewable or zero emission sources is critical to a cleaner and more resilient future.

learn more
Industry

Regional governments provide the right scale to support industry—the foundation of many regional economies—in transitioning to low-carbon solutions.

learn more
Land Use

Sustainable and regenerative agriculture, forestry, and other land use can help offset some of the large emission impacts that this sector produces.

learn more
Waste

Managing waste in a sustainable manner can reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also creating economic opportunities.

learn more
Finance

Regional governments can organize and deliver financial solutions to enable all the recommendations covered in the Handbook.

learn more

Engage with Us

Take action today and set your community on an ambitious course to carbon-neutrality bringing economic vitality, cleaner air, and better health and resilience.