What if we could meet our climate goals without increasing energy costs or threatening our electric grid?
Despite growing calls for rapid, mandatory electrification as a single decarbonization solution, experts and scientists warn that shutting down energy resources used by a majority of the state’s residents and businesses will make it more difficult and expensive to achieve our climate goals.
There is no single, simple solution to decarbonizing our massive and complex energy systems.
While targeted strategies like electrification remain an important tool towards accomplishing our long-term climate goals, single-source solutions like natural gas bans and aggressive electrification deadlines diminish our ability to rapidly integrate renewables into the state’s energy portfolio, reduce the reliability of our congested electric grid and exponentially increases energy costs for the state and its residents and businesses.
The good news: Affordable, equitable and realistic pathways to emissions reductions across our energy systems exist today that will allow us to reach the state’s decarbonization goals while minimizing additional costs for Delaware families and businesses, protecting and strengthening the resilience of our energy systems and maintaining the flexibility required to accommodate future innovation without delaying action now.
A more balanced
approach to decarbonization is required.
To accomplish a truly sustainable, safe, affordable and equitable energy transition, we must consider and deploy all decarbonization and mitigation options, including both electrification measures and low-carbon fuels. In contrast to policies that promote one fuel source over another, taking advantage of the opportunity to incorporate existing and future low-carbon energy sources such as renewable natural gas (RNG) and hydrogen in our existing natural gas infrastructure, coupled with energy-efficient building measures and high efficiency gas heating equipment, could provide greater emissions reductions for residential and commercial customers at a lower cost than policy-driven, mandatory electrification.
Pathways exist today for meeting our climate goals without threatening our economy or the reliability and affordability of our energy systems.
There are multiple viable paths to decarbonization, all of which will require significant transformation and investment across our energy systems. Pathways that support our emissions reductions goals without placing undue burden on the state’s residents and businesses or threatening the reliability of our grid can be achieved with technologies that are feasible and available today. Getting there will require an unbiased perspective and a diverse mix of policy and regulatory mechanisms that provide a realistic framework for the most effective, equitable and affordable path to decarbonization across the state’s unique geographies, industries, communities and electric systems.
Pathways should include:
- Increasing our ability to scale existing mitigation programs, strategies and innovations that show promise for broad emissions reductions in our hardest-to-decarbonize sectors, like energy efficiency incentives, RNG, low-carbon fuels and carbon capture technologies.
- Driving innovation and investment in the development and deployment of new and emerging technologies and strategies like hydrogen production and delivery, direct air carbon capture, carbon capture and storage, networked geothermal and battery storage – and supporting a market for their growth.
- Anticipating and accommodating change as scientific knowledge, technology options, and other circumstances evolve to support more sustainable, reliable, resilient and affordable energy.
- Ensuring that all residents and businesses can participate in and share the benefits of an energy transition and that low-income communities are not unfairly burdened.
- Protecting the reliability of our energy grid with solutions that realistically accommodate future increases in demand for electricity.
- Minimizing the cost impacts of our energy transition on residents and businesses.