WGA 10-year energy plan; California carbon trading; Massachusetts state incentives

The Western Governors Association releases a 10-year energy plan. California’s cap-and-trade program may consider offering more free allowances. Massachusetts considers extending incentives to geothermal.

WGA 10-Year Energy Plan Supports Geothermal
California: More Free Cap-and-Trade Allowances Proposed
Massachusetts: Legislation would Extend State Incentives to Geothermal

WGA 10-Year Energy Plan Supports Geothermal
The Western Governors Association (WGA) released a 10-year energy plan, “10-YEAR ENERGY VISION,” in June 2013.  “[The plan] gives us a pathway forward for success in this country, and we’re going to lead here in the West,” WGA Chairman/Utah Gov. Gary Herbert was quoted.  Herbert led the bipartisan plan which was signed by 19 state governors.

WGA outlines six goals for the coming ten years: achieving energy security, providing a variety of energy sources, increasing energy efficiency, improving infrastructure, protecting wildlife and the environment, and ensuring Western state leadership in energy education and innovation.

One of their recommendations is directly related to geothermal development: “Restore financing for the geothermal exploration program financed by the Department of Energy, along with a sustained research program designed to achieve enhanced geothermal systems production.”  This is included as part of the goal to ensure energy is “clean, affordable and reliable by providing a balanced portfolio of renewable, non-traditional and traditional resources,” on page 9 of the plan.

Manitoba Premier Greg Selinger indicated greenhouse gas emissions discussion was lacking in the plan. “Climate change is an issue, whether we like it or not.  It’s an issue that has to be addressed,” he was quoted. The Salt Lake Tribune, E&E Publishing, 10-Year Energy Plan (PDF)

California: More Free Cap-and-Trade Allowances Proposed
California is considering more free allowances in its carbon trading system to industries facing competition from outside the state. The industries that would be extended free allowances include refineries, metal manufacturers, breweries, food and apparel manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies. If adopted by the board in October, industries that were scheduled to start buying their allowances at auction in 2015 would have until 2018, and at that point will receive 50% to 75% of them for free. Effects of the carbon trading program on in-state businesses vs out-of-state competitors are uncertain, and reports on the topic are due next year from the California Air Resources Board.

The nation’s largest carbon trading system held its second auction in February 2013, exceeding expectations at a price of 13.67 per metric ton of carbon, more than over a dollar of the expected value and raising about $84 million. In early May California released its three-year Investment Plan for allocating proceeds from the program through 2016. The plan looks to fund clean vehicles, energy efficiency, renewable power, resource conservation and waste diversion. Eenews.net; Geo-energy.org; Geo-energy.org

Massachusetts: Legislation would Extend State Incentives to Geothermal
Senate Bill 1593, filed by Sen. Barry Finegold, D-Andover, would encourage geothermal applications in Massachusetts by including geothermal in state incentives alongside solar, wind, and biogas. New England Renewable Energy Systems president Edward Malloy told press he estimates about 5,000 geothermal systems in place in Massachusetts. President of Paradigm Partners Michael Hogan told press the measure, if enacted, would mean his revenues could grow between $500,000 and $1 million, allowing him to hire more people. Masslive.com

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