3 Things You Need To Know
About EPA's Clean Power Plan

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final rule for carbon emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). What does this mean? Why should you care? And how will it impact your business? We're here to break it all down for you.

The release of the final rule for carbon emissions under the Clean Power Plan is an extremely important step that marks the most significant action on U.S. climate and energy policy in decades.

Here are 3 important implications you need to know:

1. Incentivizing Clean Energy Progress 

The Clean Power Plan is a game changing policy that will lead to increased investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, demand response, and energy storage. The rule also provides an opportunity for states to think about what they would like their energy future to look like and proactively plan to modernize the grid so that it can meet future demands while supporting a cleaner and more prosperous economy, while providing tremendous health benefits as well.

2. Job Creation

Think that a regulation can’t create opportunities for cleantech businesses? Think again. Illinois will be able to create jobs, lower costs, improve reliability, and increase consumer choice as it reduces emissions under this plan. Further, the best way for Illinois to accomplish these goals is to pass the Illinois Clean Jobs Bill.

Public policies like the Clean Power Plan are important growth drivers for clean energy businesses. Early stage growth businesses are the engines of our economy, creating jobs and direct economic impact. Clean Energy Trust’s Portfolio Companies will benefit from the Clean Power Plan through increased policy certainty as well as increased demand for their products and services.

3. Implementation (The Long Road Ahead)

Although today is a significant milestone, the actual planning and implementation of state policies to comply with the Clean Power Plan will go on for months and years. Under the final rule, state plans are due in September 2016, although states have the option of requesting a 2 year extension to September 2018. Clean Energy Trust will continue to educate and organize clean energy businesses to ensure their voices are heard as this policy process unfolds.

For additional information, please see the background information below as well as the resources available on EPA’ s Clean Power Plan website, including State-specific fact sheets.

Background:

Yesterday, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the final rule for carbon emissions from existing power plants under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act, commonly referred to as the Clean Power Plan (CPP). The CPP sets state-by-state targets for emission reductions, but allows states to develop their own compliance plans. The state targets are based on what EPA determined to be the “best system of emission reduction” (BSER). In the final rule, EPA based the BSER on state-specific potentials for emission reductions on a set of “Building Blocks” that include both traditional smokestack controls as well as “beyond the fence line” measures. Although emission rate targets are set by the building blocks, there is no requirement that states use those specific measures for compliance.

 

The CPP presents an opportunity for states to modernize and upgrade their electricity systems by allowing them to draw from a range of energy technologies and services, including energy efficiency, demand response, energy service company (ESCO) projects, natural gas, wind, solar, and combined heat and power. Used together, these technologies and services create and maintain a high-performing energy system—one that is reliable and resilient, diverse, cost-effective, and clean—while also enabling new customer services.

 

By Ian Adams | August 4, 2015