Declining Demand and Electricity Prices
”Massachusetts’ and other New England states’ energy efficiency programs are causing energy demand to decline. Despite using conservative assumptions that overstate the cost and understate the impact of efficiency programs. ISO-NE predicts that winter peak demand will decline by 0.1 percent annually over its 10-year planning horizon. The actual impact of energy efficiency is likely far greater. Acadia Center has demonstrated that ISO-NE consistently overestimates energy consumption and peak demand; for instance, actual winter peak demand was 24 percent lower in 2014 than predicted by ISO-NE in 2006. These inaccurate projections overstate the need for expensive energy infrastructure of all kinds, including natural gas pipelines.” (http://commonwealthmagazine.org/environment/the-case-against-gas-pipelines/)
Capacity Projections and Plans Out of Step with this Reality
In the case of AIM, and the West Roxbury Lateral, projected use by National Grid in DPU filings is far, far in excess of reality, based on current and projected capacity usage, projected efficiency-based savings, and renewables coming online. Projections in the DPU filings “make no sense” Professor Nathan Philips, gas leak expert as documented on page 53 of this publicly filed document http://www.naturalgaswatch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Grid-Algonquin-Contract.pdf (courtesy of Mark McDonald, Natural Gas Watch) and now no longer findable on the DPU file room.
This demand projection for 10-year horizon contradicts National Grid statements later in the document (p. 76, bottom paragraph) that it will take 25 years to replace the leak-prone pipe to which this new pipe connects. These time scales and supposed urgency for new gas demand don’t add up unless National Grid plans to pump higher pressure (60 psi) gas into old leaking pipes.
Gas is for Export:
Spectra’s own statements support a clear strategy of export. In an effort to calm operators concerned about Spectra’s Maritimes and Northeast Export project running into “stiff opposition in Massachusetts” Spectra vice-president Richard Kruse said “the company is confident it can overcome those hurdles, obtain federal approval and meet a 2017 in-service date.” (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/industry-news/energy-and-resources/two-national-energy-board-approved-lng-projects-hinge-on-us-permits/article25995937/)