Busy with Solutions to Accelerate Decarbonization

International leaders are in Glasgow discussing how the world might stave off the worst impacts of global warming, and U.S. congressional leaders are haggling over legislation to address climate change in Washington, D.C. Here in the Northwest, the Clean Energy Transition Institute is busy collaborating with many regional partners to develop strategies to reduce regional emissions significantly by 2030. Highlights of these efforts include:

Accelerating Decarbonization in Washington

CETI is working with Poppy Storm of the 2050 Institute, who is leading Operation 2030: Scaling Building Decarbonization, an effort to develop a tightly constructed roadmap with milestones and policies for accelerating building sector decarbonization in Washington by 2030. We will soon disseminate the draft white paper.

We are partnering with Jessica Plumb, an award-winning filmmaker and writer, who specializes in short films focused on the environment, people, and place, on a new project called Claiming Power: Stories of Rural Communities and Clean Energy, which aims to put a human face on the energy transformation underway in rural Washington.

This project is linked to our Equitable Rural Building Decarbonization initiative, which looks at understanding barriers that low-income, high energy-burdened households and renters in Washington’s rural counties encounter. CETI conducted two dozen interviews with rural community experts to probe the opportunities and challenges that decarbonizing buildings presents for rural residents. We hope to release our findings by year’s end.

Earlier this year, CETI collaborated with Derik Broekhoff of Stockholm Environment Institute to analyze Washington’s emissions from nine sectors (pulp and paper; refineries; wood products; food production; chemicals; cement; aerospace; glass; and steel) for the Washington State Department of Commerce. We described the upstream, production, and downstream emissions for each sector and suggested how the state might obtain more detailed accounting of its industrial greenhouse gas emissions. In addition to the emissions analysis, we wrote a case study on the potential for manufacturing green cement in Washington. Commerce plans to release the results to the public before the end of 2021.

Building Clean Energy Pathways in Oregon

Working with GridLab, Renewable Northwest, and our modeling partner, Evolved Energy Research, CETI helped Oregon policymakers evaluate economy-wide emission targets and the technical and economic impacts of a clean energy standard on Oregon’s energy systems. The Oregon Clean Energy Pathways Analysis released in July showed Oregon could become a leader in carbon emission reduction by investing in clean energy and electrification solutions.

Pursuing Carbon Neutrality in Montana

Jeremy Hargreaves of Evolved Energy Research and I presented at the opening plenary of the Intermountain West Energy Sustainability & Transitions (I-WEST) workshop on August 30. The event, organized by Montana State University, the Department of Energy, and the Los Alamos National Lab, focused on state and regional pathways to carbon neutrality.

Spreading the Decarbonization Word

Speaking of presentations, we added six more to the three we told you about earlier this year:

We also produced our June 2021 Impact Report, Accelerating the Clean Energy Transition in the Northwest, which describes the work that CETI has engaged in since our founding three years ago.

Nominated for Energy Leadership Award

The CleanTech Alliance and Northwest Environmental Business Council chose CETI as a finalist for an Energy Leadership Award to be announced on November 9 at the Energy Leadership Summit. We are humbled by this recognition and thank the conference leaders for this honor.

Team Update

CETI is looking to add two new team members: a Research Director to direct our technical and economic research and build out a team of research analysts, as well as a Communications Manager to manage production of our reports, issue briefs, and papers. Please spread the word to your networks to help us find great candidates for these crucial jobs.

Midsummer, Aditi Bansal and David Paolella moved on from the team and we welcomed Ben Hagen as our Development and Digital Communications Coordinator. Ben spent the past seven years supporting the development efforts of Seattle area nonprofits expanding the reach of rowing and music programs in the Northwest. In September, Samikshya Pandey, a June graduate of the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy, joined the team on a short-term contract to help launch the beta version of our Northwest Clean Energy Atlas in December.

Looking Ahead

Planning is underway for 2022. We would like to re-run the Northwest deep decarbonization model with updated technologies, economics, and policies passed since we first released results in 2019. We aim to conduct forums and workshops in Washington to debate the findings of our Operation 2030 white paper. Other areas on deck for exploration in 2022 include: industrial emission decarbonization, sustainable aviation fuels, and national climate solutions.

So, as noted at the top, we’re very busy! In closing, I thank our loyal supporters, who make our work possible. We would not exist without you. Thank you very much.

If you wish to support our work, please either send donations to 4616 25th Avenue NW, PMB 416, Seattle, WA 98105, or visit our donation page.

Eileen V. Quigley

Founder & Executive Director
Eileen V. Quigley is Founder and Executive Director of the Clean Energy Transition Institute. Eileen spent seven years at Climate Solutions identifying the transition pathways off oil and coal to a low-carbon future in Washington and Oregon. She built and led the New Energy Cities program, which partnered with 22 Northwest cities and counties to reduce carbon emissions. As Director of Strategic Innovations, she oversaw New Energy Cities, as well as Sustainable Advanced Fuels.
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