While climate change is an unprecedented challenge, many have been too quick to rush down the narrow path of accelerated, forced electrification as the only solution.
Now, reality is starting to kick in. A few months ago, the companies who were supposed to build new windfarms in Connecticut to increase renewable energy supplies pulled out of those deals, citing huge increases in manufacturing costs. They were willing to pay tens of millions of dollars NOT to go forward. The same thing happened in New Jersey. And there are indications it will happen in NY.
Additionally, our governor has pushed to ban all gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035. That proposed legislation is currently on hold, but word is the administration will take another run at it in 2024.
Recently, Gordon van Welie, President and CEO of ISO New England, the group responsible for managing our electric grid, asserted that initiatives to increase use of electric cars and heat pumps are expected to double electricity demand. This could make the grid even more vulnerable to blackouts and will require huge investments in building critical electric infrastructure.
We need to think carefully about how to address climate change without making energy options so expensive or mandatory that they trigger a backlash from the people of the state. We need a broader path that includes all energy sources that get increasingly renewable.