The projected growth in population and jobs in the region, along with increased demand for electricity to power electric vehicles and the digital economy, will put strains on the electrical grid to increase power generation, despite ongoing improvements in energy efficiency. Without more coordinated planning and targeted investments, the energy system will not be able to meet growing energy demand, or reduce the region’s reliance on sources of power that contribute to climate change and pollute the air of disproportionately low-income communities of color.
Local and state governments have taken steps to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, focusing on renewables and greater efficiency. But this will not be enough for all three states, which have each committed to reducing regional GHG emissions by 80 percent by 2050, to reach this ambitious goal. Achieving that reduction level as the region grows will require a multi-pronged approach to dramatically scale up renewable energy, improve energy efficiency, manage demand with variable pricing, electrify vehicles, and convert the heat and hot water systems of large buildings to electric, while at the same time upgrading the power grid to support all of these changes.