Vermont's Electricity Outlook Today Through 2016
Vermonters care deeply about the how their electricity is generated. Cost and safety issues and the environmental pros and cons of Vermont’s power supply routinely make front-page news and provide fodder for debate on opinion pages.
The mix of fuel sources that make up Vermont’s energy profile has changed dramatically in the last several months. New standards to increase the state’s power supply with renewable and low-carbon resources have placed the burden on utilities to meet demand with fewer supply options. Vermont’s utilities currently only have enough committed power to meet demand through the end of the year. Starting in 2013 and moving forward, there will be an increasing gap between committed power and potential demand. In order to fill that gap, Vermont’s utilities will have to turn to power purchased directly from the Independent System Operator (ISO) New England energy market, leading to potential electricity price increases, less investment in in-state renewable generation, and higher carbon emissions.
The Vermont Energy Partnership, in its continuing efforts to educate the public on energy issues, has compiled this overview of Vermont’s present-day and near-term electricity portfolio, focusing on the year 2016 as our reference point. Virtually all of the portfolio statistics are derived from the Vermont Department of Public Service (DPS) and Vermont’s electric utilities, thus creating the most accurate picture of the state’s energy future.