New York, April 9th 2018 – In a new study, the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) and its partners show that present policies in New York State and the New England States are insufficient to achieve the region’s declared greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.  The study then describes a detailed road map for achieving the region’s goal of reducing these climate-altering emissions 80% or more below 1990 levels by 2050 while maintaining high standards of living and economic growth.

A key objective of the study was to investigate the potential for cost savings from increased coordination between the Northeastern U.S. and Québec, including development of Québec’s hydro and/or wind resources as well as increases in transmission capacity to complement massive renewable energy buildout and battery storage in Northeastern states.

Study research lead Evolved Energy Research, using data supplied by project partner Hydro-Québec’s research institute, IREQ, has found:

  • Many fossil fuels energy users, especially transportation, must be electrified with low carbon electricity, nearly doubling generation requirements by mid-century
  • The levels of wind and solar generation required can produce a mismatch between when electricity is needed and when it is produced on a seasonal time scale
  • The Hydro-Québec reservoir system can greatly help in addressing the renewable integration challenge, acting as a regional battery with seasonal storage capacity
  • Increased U.S. Northeast-Québec coordination could bring net cost savings to the region of $4 B per year or more under deep decarbonization scenarios
  • Such heightened coordination would require roughly tripling the interconnection capacity between Québec’s grid and those of the Northeast

“These findings show the enormous benefits to both the US and Canada of linking their power sectors across Eastern Canada and the US Northeast.  By tapping Quebec’s vast hydroelectric potential and its capacity to store vast amounts of energy in water reservoirs, and linking them with the US power grid, Canada would gain a huge new US market and the US Northeast would gain a remarkable and economical boost on its pathway to decarbonization by 2050.  This is a must-read study that will have a huge influence on US and Canadian energy policy,” said Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

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