Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan

MHRSP_logotypeIn 2011-2013, CEG served as the Technical Advisor to the Energy Working Group for the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan.

This work entailed compiling the baseline metrics on energy consumption across all sectors for the 7 counties. We assisted the Energy Working Group, which grew to 225 members, in establishing target goals for the key performance indicators. We also developed the content for Chapter 5, Energy, in the Plan, accommodating input and feedback from the Group.

The Plan lays out specific objectives for the 7 counties of the MId-Hudson with its 2.2 million residents. To quote from the Plan (Chapter 5, Energy):

EN1 – Become radically less energy intensive while strengthening the regional economy

  • Energy intensity is measured as the amount of energy needed to produce each dollar of regional economic product. The less energy needed, the lower the operating costs for local businesses. Each dollar diverted from energy expenses becomes available for business development and innovation.

EN2 – Expand renewable generation as an energy source across the Region

  • The Region benefits from a diverse array of well-established renewable energy sources, including wind, solar, geothermal, hydro, and biomass, with potential for tidal. These diverse energy sources will improve energy security, energy resilience, and continuity for the local energy delivery infrastructure, reducing the large amount of energy dollars exported outside the Region and NYS.

EN3 – Lower fossil fuel intensity of the built environment

  • In the Mid-Hudson Region, 85% of households heat with fossil fuels (44% with fuel oil and 41% with natural gas). Reduction of fossil fuel use is a key component to achieving EN1 above, lowering overall energy intensity. Existing programs, such as EnergizeNY, have a proven track record in dramatically increasing the participation rates of building owners in energy efficiency programs.

EN4 – Improve the continuity of the energy delivery system throughout the Region

  • The Region must reduce risks from interruption in energy delivery. Tis can include simple steps, such as burying utility lines in denser communities to limit debris-related damage. Community energy districts are a perfect framework for the implementation of energy supply diversity, demand response expansion, and energy storage, which are all areas attractive for private sector investment. The Region can expand its role as a clean energy leader in the deployment of high technology and service business models. Agility and intelligence will increase local resilience and reduce risk of energy interruption. Offering a reliable, affordable source of energy will help attract business investment.

In the Plan, the first three objectives are dissected quantitatively to lead to specific indicators. Further, the Energy Working Group developed targets for improvements in those indicators for 2020, 2035, and 2050 (See the table below).

Objective Metric 2010 2020 2035 2050 units
EN 1. Become markedly less energy intensive while strengthening the regional economy 1. Energy intensity: Regional energy consumption per capita 164.8 140.1 (-15%) 115.4 (-30%) 82.4 (-50%) million Btu/capita
EN 2. Grow renewables dramatically as energy source across the region 2. Renewable intensity: Installed generation capacity per capita 0.382 1.15 (+200%) 8.02 (+2000%) 76.91 (+20000%) million Btu/capita
EN 3. Lower fossil fuel intensity of the built environment significantly 3. Stationary fossil fuel intensity: Existing building stock use of fossil fuel per capita 81.8 69.51 (-15%) 57.25 (-30%) 40.89 (-50%) million Btu/capita
*Source: Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan (2013), Chapter 5, Energy.

This work was funded through the Cleaner Greener Communities Program, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.