Connecticut aims to be 100 percent zero carbon for the electric sector by 2040, but the percentage of electricity from zero carbon sources has been declining.
On September 3, 2019, Governor Lamont issued Exec. Order No. 3 that seeks to address climate change adaption and resiliency, and calls for DEEP, in consultation with PURA, to “analyze pathways and recommended strategies for achieving a 100 percent zero carbon target for the electric sector by 2040”. As depicted in the chart (top), the percentage of zero carbon electric generation* in the state has decreased while total electric generation has increased. Connecticut is barely half way to the target for 100 percent zero carbon generation and projected increases in electric demand and the possible retirement of one of the Millstone units by 2040 will make achieving the 100 percent zero carbon target very challenging.
Significant reductions of carbon emissions are also achievable by reducing the combustion of fossil fuels in the transportation sector, which will likely be achieved by increased fuel efficiency and the use of electric drive vehicles that operate on electricity or “green” hydrogen.*** Electric drive vehicles (EVs) include plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV), battery electric (BEV), and fuel cell electric (FCEV) vehicles. Electric drive vehicles currently account for less than one percent of all passenger vehicle registrations.
Goal: There is an ambitious goal of 100 percent zero carbon for the electric sector by 2040. By statute, a minimum percentage of electricity, which is sold to Connecticut customers must be generated from renewable energy sources. That minimum amount is 19.5 percent in 2019 and will escalate to 40 percent in 2030 (Class I).
Technical Notes:* Personal Impact indicators illustrate trends in behavior or practices that can be expected to influence the condition of tomorrow’s air, water, land and wildlife. ** Zero carbon generation includes utility scale renewables and nuclear generation. Reliance on intermittent renewable technologies, which have capacity factors between 17 and 50 percent, in order to achieve the 100 percent zero carbon target, may raise reliability concerns and would require a significant amount of energy storage. *** “Green” hydrogen refers to the production of hydrogen from sources other than fossil fuel.