Scenarios for Decarbonizing New York's Economy

In a report for National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Guidehouse finds selective electrification could be key in meeting the state’s 2050 greenhouse reduction goals while providing crucial resilience and reliability benefits

New York State’s Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), passed in 2019, is among the most rigorous climate plans of any major economy. The intention of the act is to address climate change by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, resulting in more sustainable and resilient communities. The act presents questions around pathways for achieving targets and the impact to the state’s energy utilities and power generators.

In a report for National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation, Guidehouse evaluated three potential scenarios for meeting the state’s 2050 GHG reduction goals. Each of the scenarios considered the interplay of electrification and low carbon gas adoption and was evaluated using Guidehouse’s Low Carbon Pathways (LCP) analytical model. This model determines the least-cost combination of technologies to achieve a GHG emissions reduction target, given the constraints of each modeled scenario.

The analysis showed that there are various pathways to achieve the CLCPA’s goals, but that a selective electrification scenario provides unique benefits.

“The selective electrification scenario demonstrates the critical importance of including all options in developing an effective decarbonization pathway,” according to the report. “In addition, it provides an important pathway for decarbonization of the most difficult-to-electrify industrial and transportation end uses.”

Additionally, the report says this scenario, which offers more technology options and a more diversified energy system, could lead to a more resilient system in the future.

Delivering on this vision of the energy system, the report notes, will require engagement from policymakers, regulators, utilities, and stakeholders across New York.

Mark Eisenhower, Partner

William Goetzler, Partner

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