The 111d emissions reductions plan recently proposed by the Obama Administration provide a level of opportunity for energy efficiency and renewable investment and job creation that we have not seen since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Here we’ll focus on EE and RE, given that is our firm’s core business.
111d requires a national 30% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030. Lower than the 80% reductions by 2050 that climate scientists are calling for, but perhaps the best start we could hope for given the political divisiveness of climate change. Under 111d, each state will be apportioned its own reduction targets, based on the EPA’s calculations.
Individual states will be required to submit their finalized emissions reductions plans by June 2017. This means that states that currently have no emissions reductions targets, renewable energy portfolios, DSM plans or mandates will have a wealth of low hanging fruit, and a dearth of local experts to help them create and execute a plan to meet their targets. This is a gold mine of opportunity for our field, but these opportunities are not a forgone conclusion.
The most important thing to remember about 111d is that nothing is set in stone. The final rules will not be released until June 2015 and currently we are amidst a comment period. This means that intensive lobbying efforts by the fossil fuel industry could cause the EPA to weaken rules or even strike energy efficiency from the plan completely. In other words, if you or your company wants a slice of the pie from 111d- plan to speak up prior to October 2014, which is the official end of the comment period.
Those in the energy efficiency, renewables, transmission and natural gas energy generations industries would be wise to take note and understand the basics of what 111d actually represents in terms of market opportunities.
In order to get better educated on the opportunity, and make your voice heard, there will be several opportunities to speak out over the next three and a half months. You can comment through groups providing platforms such as https://www.aee.net, submit your own comments directly through the EPA, or attend one of this summer’s upcoming comment meetings. Harcourt Brown & Carey will plan to make comment and provide input in the coming months to help keep 111d strong.