Wrapping Up 2019 with Gratitude

After a very busy year, the Clean Energy Transition Institute has become an important catalyst for framing informed discussions about deep decarbonization in the Northwest. We are respected for providing unbiased research, daylighting the nuances of the clean energy transition, and surfacing the trade-offs and opportunities of a cross-sectoral approach to achieving a low-carbon economy in our region.   

Presenting on Deep Decarbonization

We have briefed well over 500 people in a variety of forums on the Northwest Deep Decarbonization Pathways study and attracted the attention of key decision makers at the national and regional levels of government, business, advocacy, utilities, regulators, and universities.

Highlights from our fall activities include speaking at the Clean Tech Alliance/NEBC Energy Leadership conference, the NW Energy Coalition’s Clean and Affordable Energy Conference, and the Yale Environmental Sustainability Summit. A big thank-you to Institute Advisory Council member Angela Becker-Dippmann for joining me to co-keynote the Energy Leadership conference and Board Chair Marc Daudon for co-presenting at the Yale event.

Our final presentation of the year will be on December 18 at Climate Connections, which is sponsored by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation and Seattle Public Utilities and open to the public. If you are in the downtown Seattle area and free from 12-1p that day, please RSVP and join Marc and me there.  

Convening Key Stakeholders

In October, we convened key Northwest policymakers to explore decarbonization strategies for the region:

  • A three-hour work session with the Public Generating Pool, a consortium of 11 consumer-owned electric utilities, 10 in Washington and one in Oregon.
  • A briefing of the study’s Washington State-only results for Governor Jay Inslee’s climate and clean energy policy and agency staff from Commerce, Office of Financial Management, Energy Facility Site Evaluation Council, and the Utilities and Transportation Commission.
  • A presentation to the King County-Cities Climate Collaboration’s annual elected officials’ summit.
  • A standing-room-only briefing of key stakeholders from Washington State’s research universities, utilities, clean tech business and investor communities, and advocacy groups.

Montana Governor’s Climate Solutions Council

On December 10, in Helena, MT, Evolved Energy Research and the Institute presented to Montana Governor Steve Bullock’s Climate Solutions Council, a diverse group of stakeholders whom the Governor has charged with setting decarbonization targets and making policy recommendations for how Montana can get on a path to deep decarbonization.

New Website!

While we were busy presenting the Northwest Pathways study this fall, we also made time to create a new website, which launched on December 9. The new site loads significantly faster than our old one and does a much better job of displaying our content. Caleb Smith gets all of the credit for making everything work behind the scenes and I am so appreciative of his skills! Please take a moment to check it out and let us know what you think.

Next Steps for the Pathways Study

We will be updating the costs and technology inputs to the Northwest Pathways study because the data are two years old and the costs of decarbonization solutions are declining. We will also update the study to reflect the adoption of Washington’s Clean Energy Transformation Act.

Stakeholders have asked us to analyze additional pathways and conduct sensitivity analyses with different assumptions about hydroelectricity (in particular, the potential impacts of climate change on hydro generation); nuclear availability; early coal plant retirement; natural gas pricing; and a constrained renewables case. We are raising the funds to perform these updates and will share these findings broadly once they are available.  

Giving Thanks

As 2019 draws to a close, we offer our deepest gratitude to all who have supported us with donations, participated in our briefings, and shared their enthusiasm for accelerating deep decarbonization in the Northwests.

I particularly want to give a shout-out to my very hardworking Board Members, who have worked tirelessly, supporting the Institute intellectually, strategically, and philanthropically. We aim to expand the Board in 2020 to give them well-deserved reinforcements.

The Clean Energy Transition Institute is filling a critical role articulating the technical and economic pathways to a clean energy transition in the Northwest and educating key stakeholders with fact-based analysis and framed choices for how to bring that transformation about.

If you wish to include the Institute in your end-of-the year giving, please either send donations to 4616 25th Avenue NE, PMB 416, Seattle, WA 98105, or visit our donation page.

Thank you so much for being on this journey with us to date. We wish you and your families a very happy holiday season.

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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