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90 by 2050


Exploring Vermont’s Efficiency & Renewable Energy Pathways


90% by 2050: Milestones and Technology Pathways

To illustrate what reaching 90% by 2050 might look like over the next three decades, EAN developed a series of energy "Pathways" across all three sectors - transportation, heat and electricity. These pathways indicate the specific current technologies that would have the greatest impact if adopted by residential, commercial and industrial users. Two key factors are fundamental to this energy transition: 1) significant improvements in efficiency across all energy sectors (30%), and 2) increasing the electrification of both the heat and transport sectors so that they can be renewably supplied. This analysis is not meant to be a "roadmap" but rather a means of identifying known technology pathways, key policy drivers, and important questions for policymakers to consider.

Electrical Sector Pathway

The Electrical Sector Pathway assumes a major increase in solar PV installations and relatively smaller gains in wind, hydro, and biomass. EAN’s 90% by 2050 scenario shows that despite increasing our end-use electrical consumption by 45% in 2050 to power transportation and thermal sectors, overall electrical sector source energy consumption will actually decrease over 20% because of more efficient renewable generation that has no source energy losses.

Thermal Sector Pathway

EAN's Thermal Sector Pathway assumes a major increase in building efficiency along with major gains in heat pump installations and biomass/biofuel heating.

Electric and Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle Pathway

Electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicles offer the promise of greatly reduced energy use and operating cost per vehicle mile. This is true today and will become more so as EV/PHEVvehicle capital costs decline rapidly in the next decade. By transitioning 70% of our automobiles (known as the Light Vehicle Fleet, or LVF) to EV and PHEV vehicles run on renewable fuels, Vermonters could save $500M annually at today’s gasoline prices and cut LVF greenhouse gas emissions to less than a third of 2010 levels.The rate of adoption of certain technologies, such as electric vehicles, will really be the “gatekeepers” as Vermont moves towards a renewable energy future. Data from 2010 through 2017 comes from the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles, VEIC, and Drive Electric Vermont.

Heat Pump Pathway

EAN's Heat Pump Pathway assumes upwards of 200,000 retrofits by 2050. Electric heat pump technology has progressed rapidly in the last decade, and cold climate air source heat pumps are now available that can efficiently supply up to 75% of a building’s heat load and do so at a 40% savings over the current price of oil. If heat pumps are run with electricity from renewable sources, then 75% of the building’s heat has become renewable and greenhouse gas emissions have been cut by 75%.

Comprehensive Energy Plan Goals & Statutory Targets

The 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) includes a series of goals that are reflected in statutory requirements. This table highlights some of the most important ones.