Distributed energy resources (DER), including technologies and services such as behind-the-meter generation, demand response, energy management, and energy efficiency, are touted as effective ways to improve electric system efficiencies and reduce harmful air emissions. The New York State Public Service Commission’s landmark Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding aims to unleash competitive forces that will invest in DER across the state with the explicit goal of reducing customer bills and the environmental impact of electricity production.
As initiatives like New York’s REV continue, understanding the emission impacts of DER deployment becomes vital to ensure these efforts achieve the greatest environmental benefit possible. In this report, we present an analysis of the emission characteristics of New York’s electricity system. Using a linear regression model, we estimate marginal emission rates for CO2 and other pollutants from large centralized power plants. Our results show that the marginal emission rate of the State’s electricity system—and thus the emission reduction potential of DER—is dependent on both the time and location of DER operation in New York.
Nick Martin, Pace Energy & Climate Ctr., Carbon-Tuning New York’s Electricity System: Uncovering New Opportunities for CO2 Emissions Reductions (Nov. 2015).