Energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy are two of the four main “building blocks” for achieving greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions to comply with the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan as laid out under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. EE policies are a highly cost-effective way to reduce emissions of multiple pollutants. States with mature programs anticipate relying on these policies for a significant part of their overall GHG reductions, while states that have had limited EE previously can also ramp up their programs to use EE as a compliance building block. With solar prices dropping by nearly 60 percent since 2008 and wind prices by nearly 80 percent in the same period, renewable energy carries less economic risk than price-volatile fuels and now competes in many regions with new fossil-fueled generation.

In a presentation to the Climate Leadership Conference, Christopher James outlined these compliance options as well as RAP’s Integrated, Multi-pollutant Planning for Energy and Air Quality (IMPEAQ) concept, which blends ideas from integrated resource planning (IRP) and state air quality planning to address reliability, cost, air quality, and climate concerns.