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    3 R.I. Transportation Agencies Issue Report Entitled 'Strategic Policy Guide for Improving Public Access to Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Rhode Island'(Part 4 of 4)

    January 25, 2022 - Targeted News Service


      PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island, Jan. 25 (TNSRep) -- The Rhode Island Department of Transportation, Motor Vehicles Division and Office of Energy Resources with support from the Environmental Management Department and Health Department issued a 91-page report in December 2021 entitled "Electrifying Transportation: A Strategic Policy Guide for Improving Public Access to Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure in Rhode Island."

      (Continued from Part 3 of 4)

      * * *

      Electric Grid

      Building out an electric transportation system will require additional decarbonized electric supply, upgrades to the electric grid, innovation in electricity programs, and planning to ensure resilience during power outages. Near full electrification of our light-duty, medium-duty, and heavy-duty vehicles will require roughly 6,000 GWh of electricity on an annual basis - for reference, that's equivalent to about three-quarters of our current annual electricity consumption./47

      Not only will our electric grid need to be built out to deliver this much electricity, but we will need to onboard additional renewable energy systems to generate this electricity if we are to meet our net-zero greenhouse gas emissions mandates by 2050./48

      The Division of Public Utilities and Carriers should evaluate the costs and benefits of proposals that create an integrated strategy in Rhode Island to support the state's clean transportation goals with a framework that will consider electric rate impacts, ensure transportation decarbonization benefits, and enable a competitive market and private investment, as well as grid integration.

      Identify impacts

      First, we need to understand the impacts of electric transportation on the electric grid so we can strategically address them. Indeed, current electric grid planning processes account for expected load growth due to electrification on both the distribution and transmission systems./49

      However, as recommended in the technical and economic analysis The Road to 100% Renewable Electricity by 2030 in Rhode Island, utilities and stakeholders should explore the concept of integrated grid planning. This concept considers key drivers of electricity system needs, such as projections for transportation electrification using local knowledge and expectations, over longer timescales to better understand and plan for changing future system needs.

      Mitigating grid strain

      Electric vehicle charging causes strain on the electric grid primarily when vehicles are charged at the same time as peak demand - when Rhode Islanders are using the most electricity at the same time during the course of the year. Peak demand occurs on a daily basis in the afternoon and evening hours, and on an annual basis in the hot summer months./50

      Therefore, we should continue programs and policies that incentivize charging vehicles during off-peak hours to help alleviate strain on the electric grid. There is further potential for the future technology to not only reduce grid strain but provide grid benefits through vehicle-to-grid services. Examples include:

      * At-home charging: Simply encouraging and enabling at-home charging may help to reduce grid strain due to the lower voltage of the charger. However, at-home charging should be supplemented with clear price and information signals about the true costs of electricity throughout the day.

      * Off-peak charging incentive programs: Such programs give drivers a reward based on their charging behavior. National Grid has piloted an off-peak charging rebate pilot program since 2018 - this program has shown real decreases in peak charging in return for nominal incentives and informational feedback about charging behavior.

      * Demand response programs: These programs pay customers to reduce electricity consumption during hours of peak electricity demand. Electricity use may be ramped down either manually or automatically depending on the capabilities of technology. A growing number of electric vehicles and chargers are capable of accepting signals about peak periods and responding by pausing charging.

      * Time-varying rates: Electricity rates for the majority of Rhode Islanders are 'flat rates,' where the cost of electricity is the same regardless of the time at which that electricity is used. In contrast, time-varying rates allow prices to differ throughout the day and the year, thus sending more accurate signals about the true cost of electricity. A prerequisite for time-varying rates is deploying advanced metering infrastructure that can record electricity consumption at various intervals throughout the day./51

      * Demand charges: Another common type of rate structure charges an additional price based on how much electricity is demanded at any instance. DCFC charge vehicles quickly because they are capable of transferring large amounts of electricity, and therefore have high demand. Demand charges provide a signal to incentivize DCFC to ramp down charging rates during times of peak demand. Indeed, at least one company's DCFC comes standard with technology that can automatically ramp down charging rates to avoid demand charges.

      * Vehicle-to-grid services: Future vehicle technology may be able to provide vehicle-to-grid services that benefit the electric grid and reduce system costs. These technological capabilities should continue to be monitored and, when they enter the market, may be incentivized through strategically designed pay-for-performance programs.

      * Energy efficiency: Increases in electricity demand and consumption can be offset by foundational investments in energy efficiency, which is our least-cost resource. Utility energy efficiency programs are required by Least-Cost Procurement statute, and it is imperative to continue these programs as we electrify.

      * System utilization: While time-varying rates and demand charges are responsive to system-wide price dynamics, optimizing system utilization is responsive to the dynamics of the local electric grid. Consistent with concepts presented in Power Sector Transformation, Rhode Island may consider statutory, regulatory, or programmatic changes to the utility business model to incentivize the utility to promote electrification and charging that makes better use of the wires and substations that make up our electric grid. In fact, using the electric grid more consistently throughout the day and the year can actually put downward pressure on electricity rates, which would create a positive feedback loop to further encourage electrification.52

      * Grid Modernization: Modernizing our electric grid involves not just replacing or repairing equipment at the end of its life, but making proactive investments that result in cost-effective benefits to customers. Those benefits may come in the form of easier or less costly integration of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and distributed energy resources, improved reliability and customer service, and avoided costs to operate and maintain the electric grid.

      "And I have to say it -- time of use rates for electricity! I am concerned everyone will plug in while they are at work - and further tax the electric system in the afternoons when it's already at its peak. Let's give folks an incentive to plug in at night/evening -- and the infrastructure to do it!"

      Access and capacity

      Information about the ease and cost of hooking up new electric vehicle charging stations to the electric grid should be readily available and up to date so developers and customers can make decisions with full knowledge. National Grid hosts the RI System Data Portal, which provides information about how heavily loaded sections of the electric grid are. To improve use of this system for identifying economic areas for charging station deployment, National Grid should update data as frequently as practical and, to the extent possible, connect the dots between loading data and ability to add electric vehicle charging stations.

      Furthermore, businesses with fleets may consider partnerships that optimize use of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and thereby reduce upfront and ongoing costs. Coordination among fleets and with the electric grid can also improve system utilization. The utility or third party may provide value as a sort of matchmaker between businesses to share charging station infrastructure and locate the infrastructure appropriately on the electric grid.

      "[M]y company ... integrates storage in our DC fast charging units to reduce that strain that's created on local utility grids ... [and] also leveraging that storage to charge the battery at the charging unit overnight and then being able to charge the vehicles directly from the battery during the day so you're capturing that off peak energy making sure that you're lowering your operational expenses for the site host and then you're also making it less costly for the drivers to charge their vehicle."


      The transition to electric vehicles immediately reduces greenhouse gas emissions relative to internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline, and provides immediate public health benefits. However, the transition to electric vehicles only reduces greenhouse gas emissions to the levels required by the Act on Climate if our electricity demand is met by renewable energy resources. Rhode Island's current mechanism to decarbonize electricity supply - the Renewable Energy Standard - only requires a minimum of 38.5% renewable electricity by 2035. The General Assembly should consider an amendment to strengthen the Renewable Energy Standard or other legislative mechanism to ensure we fully decarbonize our electric supply. Furthermore, people and businesses who have electric vehicle charging may consider installing on-site renewable energy to ensure their additional electricity use is decarbonized./53

      "I love when I go someplace, and I see a parking lot with a canopy over it with solar-sourced electricity to charge the vehicles. I would love to see something like this more widely utilized here in Rhode Island."

      "The one thing that I would really love to see is more push ... [to] require or incentivize having solar over existing parking lots or over any parking lot for that matter. It puts that all that impervious cover to good use, and it would provide a direct source of energy right there where the charging station is."


      As climate change causes more frequent and extreme weather conditions, risk of power outages may increase if not mitigated. Therefore, the transition to vehicles that run on electricity also comes with the risk of not being able to charge those vehicles during power outages. Note that gas stations are also impacted by power outages and must rely on backup generation (either a generator or microgrid) to pump gas. While gas stations have generally had decades to build up resilience investments, resilience should be a consideration at the outset for electric vehicle charging stations./54

      This risk can be mitigated in several ways:

      First, on-site backup power, such as a battery energy storage system, can provide continued ability to charge during a power outage.

      Second, some public charging stations may be designated as resilience hubs - an integrated combination of electric vehicle charging stations, renewable energy, and battery energy storage - and may be available for charging even when the electric grid is down. Such resilience hubs may be strategically located throughout the state and in proximity to evacuation routes and transportation corridors.

      Third, mobile charging units - essentially battery energy systems on trucks - may be deployed to meet drivers where they and their vehicles are./55

      The State may consider exploring a public-private partnership to offer no-cost roadside assistance specifically for electric vehicle drivers.

      Building out resilience in our transportation system broadly, and deploying a network of resilient charging capability specifically, should be further considered, integrated into other statewide and emergency planning exercises via coordination with the Division of Statewide Planning and the Emergency Management Agency (EMA), and allocated funding to catalyze demonstration projects in the near-term and statewide deployment in the long-term.

      As part of its next Evacuation Route study, EMA should conduct an internal audit related to charging station access during times of emergency. In this audit, EMA should inventory charging stations along evacuation routes, identify needs for additional charging station infrastructure, and assess the need for mobile or other emergency charging services.

      "Are plans established to deal with EVs ... in the case of natural disasters that may render electrical charging infrastructure disabled?"

      "I think the plan should include [Emergency Management Agency] considerations - how do we deal with power outages or storms? Today people rush to fill gas tanks - will people all plug in at the same time and how will that work?"


      Installing and maintaining electric vehicle charging infrastructure requires a set of skills related to electrical trades, fluency with software and information technology, and construction methods. As we accelerate deployment of charging stations in Rhode Island, we must ensure we are developing the workforce to meet a growing volume of demand. Increased adoption of electric vehicles and slow phase out of internal combustion engines will require the full supply chain of vehicle sales, mechanic services, and recyclers to broaden their expertise to electric vehicles. In parallel, potential reductions in need for gas stations and intake of fossil fuel deliveries at ports will necessitate careful planning and deliberate upskilling of workers to ensure a just transition. Finally, we must ensure that the benefits of electrifying our transportation sector - including contracts of companies and jobs for Rhode Islanders - are realized by those who have been historically underserved, in particular by black, indigenous, and people of color.

      "... [M]ake sure that electricians that are doing the work installing charging stations are properly trained in Rhode Island and that we take full advantage of the job creating opportunities. I want to make sure we have the right number of people trained so that the amount of work is commensurate to the number of people that are qualified. I think that it's a really great opportunity for Rhode Island to create some clean energy sector jobs and just love to see recommendations about how that liaisoning can happen between the multiple departments."

      There are several secondary school programs in Rhode Island accredited by the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellent that offer automotive technology, autobody, and diesel mechanic training. The National Automobile Dealers Association provides curriculum through the Automotive Youth Educational Systems, which is a partnership between manufacturers, dealers, and secondary school programs. Participating dealerships fill entry-level positions from these partnerships and manufacturers use them to recruit students to automotive careers. Post-secondary training is available at New England Institute of Technology and other regional schools. This training is often sponsored by specific manufacturers and relates to specific technologies.

      Becoming an electrician in Rhode Island requires 576 hours of classroom time and 8,000 hours of on-the-job training through an apprenticeship program with a licensed electrician. Passing the journeyman exam allows an electrician to become licensed and start their own business. There is one union electrical Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee associated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers local 99 in Cranston. Accepted apprentices can expect to spend five years completing a program. There is also a nonunion apprenticeship program associated with the Rhode Island chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors of Rhode Island. Classroom time can also be gained through several career and technical programs in Rhode Island.

      The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in May 2017 there were 2,370 auto service technicians, 690 automotive body repair technicians, and 550 truck mechanics working in Rhode Island. Many auto service technicians are trained by and are working at dealerships on specific makes and models of cars. Others are employed at small auto mechanics throughout the state and may not have as much access to training on specific new technologies. In 2018, there were 2,530 employed electricians in Rhode Island. There are also electrician apprentices working with licensed electricians.

      The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training should hold industry convenings with electric vehicle charging station developers, auto mechanics, and electricians to understand projected needs and challenges as electric vehicle adoption increases, and to identify potential future training and development opportunities.

      Automotive training programs may need to maintain or expand their partnerships with manufacturers to access current and new technology. Retraining of those currently in the workforce, especially those who do not work at a dealership will need to be supported. Some jobs may be lost as electric car models need fewer repairs and their repair is limited by technology.

      The General Assembly may choose to explore right-to-repair laws as an important part of supporting local auto mechanics who would otherwise not be able to make repairs. Such legislation would require automobile manufacturers to provide the same information to independent repair shops as they do for repair shops at auto dealers. It is important for small local shops to have access to the technology to repair these vehicles, otherwise only dealers will be able to service electric vehicles (other than changing tires and brakes). Right-to-repair legislation would promote a level playing field for who can service a car.

      More electricians may need to be trained and opportunities for electrician apprenticeships will need to be expanded. There will need to be a pipeline for minority students to enter the trades and join unions. Some opportunities that may be explored include youth skills programs, grant funding to support workforce development, public-private partnerships to expand training access, and regional coordination. Lastly, incentive programs and workforce development programs should consider how to support workers in fossil fuel-driven industries, like gas stations, oil service stations, and others.

      Public entities should also consider their procurement practices for electric vehicle charging infrastructure vendors as some procurement choices may affect the abilities of minority businesses enterprises from winning contract bids. Entities may examine the scale at which procurements occur, and whether procurements are done for individual projects in parallel or in series. If procurement of services for electric vehicle charging equipment is parsed into smaller projects, more small local businesses could potentially bid on those contracts. If a set of projects or services go out to bid separately but in parallel, the procuring body may be better able to meet a minimum target of minority business enterprises in their portfolio of selected vendors. Carefully considering vendors both for individual projects and as a whole portfolio will ensure a minimum number of jobs and the economic benefits of vehicle electrification will be delivered to communities historically underserved and overburdened by our transportation and procurement system.

      Data Tracking & Reporting

      Data is required not only to track progress towards electrification and greenhouse gas reduction targets in Rhode Island, but to continually evaluate metrics related to an equitable clean transportation transition and advancement of community-prioritized transportation outcomes. Data collection will guide the strategic planning of charging infrastructure development, electric vehicle incentives, public transportation, and more. The goal of data collection is to promote equitable adoption of electric vehicles, expand charging infrastructure efficiently, and understand the demographics of electric vehicle owners and potential barriers to entry.

      The Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council, in coordination with the Division of Motor Vehicles, Office of Energy Resources, and Department of Transportation, should develop and maintain a clean transportation dashboard.

      Transportation metrics such as vehicle miles traveled (VMT), the makes and models of electric vehicles registered in Rhode Island, the average time spent charging, and popular charging locations are valuable opportunities for Rhode Island to improve data collection.

      * VMT can be used to estimate on-road transportation emissions and driving trends. VMT is estimated by the Department of Transportation and is submitted annually to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). County and street-level VMT data can provide insight to traffic patterns, potential charging infrastructure locations, and air quality near high volume traffic corridors.

      * The makes and models of electric vehicles registered in Rhode Island shows what vehicles are in high demand. For instance, are PHEVs more popular than BEVs? Are electric SUVs and trucks purchased at a similar proportion as gasoline SUVs and trucks? Are high-end luxury electric vehicles being purchased at a higher rate than affordable electric vehicle models?

      * Understanding public charging station usage is critical to the efficient buildout of charging infrastructure. If stations are always in use, more stations can be added nearby to satisfy the demand for charging. Conversely, if a charging station sees low amounts of traffic, additional stations can be prioritized in other areas.

      While the State of Rhode Island is in the beginning stages of transportation data collection, progress has been made to collect active electric vehicle registrations on a quarterly basis, identify county level transportation patterns and vehicle counts, and determine other avenues for future data collection.

      Data collection is a cross-agency effort requiring collaboration between the Department of Transportation, the Division of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Environmental Management, and the Office of Energy Resources. The collaboration includes brainstorming, reviewing data requests, and determining what data is available at each agency.

      Methodologies to improve data collection are always considered; one recent development uses an electric vehicle VIN decoder to determine the number of electric vehicles registered in Rhode Island. The electric vehicle VIN decoder includes VIN strings from all BEV and PHEV vehicles sold in the United States. The Division of Motor Vehicles matches each electric vehicle VIN string to active registration data to determine how many electric vehicles are registered in Rhode Island. The registration data is used to create a map highlighting the concentrations of electric vehicles by zip code in Rhode Island.

      Other transportation data collection efforts underway include historical electric vehicle counts, the average age of vehicles by zip code, and information on the secondary market for electric vehicles in Rhode Island.

      Electric vehicle data, transportation trends, and demographic data can be compiled into a clean transportation dashboard for public use. Some states have dashboards already; a good example is the Evaluate Dashboard created by Atlas Public Policy for New York and Colorado. Other New England states are also pursuing this particular dashboard software for tracking their data. 56 A dashboard puts transportation data in one place for the public and state agencies to review. Considerations as to where the dashboard will be online, what data it will include, and how often it will be updated should be further discussed and coordinated among agencies and with public input.

      In addition to tracking vehicle data, state agencies should also track data related to vehicle electrification's impact on macroeconomic factors (e.g. jobs and businesses) as well as public health metrics (e.g. environmental quality and incidence of asthma). Doing so may require additional coordination with the Department of 56 The United States Climate Alliance has a funding opportunity for states interested in developing a dashboard with Atlas Public Policy. New England states pursuing this opportunity include Maine, Connecticut, and Vermont. Labor and Training and the Department of Health.

      Understanding the demographics of people who purchase electric vehicles is important to ensure equitable electric vehicle adoption and provide access to resources. Who are the main buyers of electric vehicles? What age group is buying electric vehicles most frequently? What level of income is most likely to purchase an EV? Are EVs being purchased by homeowners and apartment dwellers equally? Where are these EVs being sold in Rhode Island? Answers to these questions will be helpful to determine a logical pathway forward for Rhode Island's charging infrastructure buildout and electric vehicle incentive opportunities. State agencies should work with communities to understand their priority outcomes and metrics needed to track progress toward those outcomes.

      2022 Priority Actions for EC4 Agencies

      This section prioritizes a specific meaningful action item for all agencies represented by the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4). By including these priority action items in this Guide, agencies - and the specific points of contact listed within those agencies - have committed to advancing these actions in 2022. Agencies will be held accountable via routine report outs on progress at public EC4 meetings.

      Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council

      * Coordinate quarterly report outs from agencies on progress and, in coordination with the Division of Motor Vehicles, Office of Energy Resources, and Department of Transportation, develop and maintain a clean transportation dashboard.

      - Point of Contact: EC4 Chairperson

      Department of Environmental Management

      * Lead-by-Example with electric vehicle charging infrastructure at state parks and beaches.

      - Point of Contact: Administrator, Office of Air Resources Office of Energy Resources

      * The Office of Energy Resources, in coordination with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Management, will prepare an investment strategy and deploy electric vehicle charging infrastructure funds allocated to Rhode Island through the federal infrastructure bill (signed by President Biden in November 2021). Investment will align with the recommendations of this Plan, advance equity and accessibility, and follow applicable federal guidelines. In addition, OER will publish a guideline of best practices for public and private charging station installations and continue to work with state agencies to expand the number of electric vehicle ports at public facilities.

      - Point of Contact: Commissioner

      Department of Transportation

      * Conduct a study on state revenue streams for transportation infrastructure. This study should include a review of alternative revenue generation mechanisms and, in coordination with the Office of Energy Resources and Department of Environmental Management, model changes in revenue based on forecasted adoption of electric vehicles.

      - Point of Contact: Assistant Director Department of Health

      * Quantify health benefits of clean transportation investments and identify opportunities to leverage health-based funding streams (e.g., via partnerships with health insurers or providers) to promote electrification of vehicles and mobility equipment in underserved and overburdened communities.

      - Point of Contact: Climate Change Health Program Manager Emergency Management Agency

      * As part of its next Evacuation Route study, RI EMA will conduct an internal audit related to charging station access during times of emergency. In this audit, EMA will inventory charging stations along evacuation routes, identify needs for additional charging station infrastructure, and assess the need for mobile or other emergency charging services.

      - Point of Contact: Mitigation Planning Supervisor Department of Labor and Training

      * Hold industry convenings with electric vehicle charging station developers, auto mechanics, and electricians to understand projected needs and challenges as electric vehicle adoption increases, and to identify potential future training and development opportunities.

      - Point of Contact: Chief Operating Officer Rhode Island Public Transit Authority

      * Develop a detailed strategy to fully electrify the public bus fleet, including any necessary modifications to RIPTA's infrastructure, workforce, route planning, or other core aspects of operating a successful public transit fleet.

      - Point of Contact: Chief of Strategic Advancement Department of Administration

      * The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, in collaboration with the Office of Energy Resources, to develop a charging station maintenance strategy for charging infrastructure on State property and an actionable plan to both right-size and electrify the State fleet.

      - Point of Contact: Director, Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance

      Division of Public Utilities and Carriers

      * Evaluate the costs and benefits of proposals that create an integrated strategy in Rhode Island to support the state's clean transportation goals with a framework that will consider electric rate impacts, ensure transportation decarbonization benefits, and enable a competitive market and private investment, as well as grid integration.

      - Point of Contact: Administrator

      Division of Statewide Planning

      * Determine the best way(s) to incorporate vehicle electrification into the State Guide Plan, whether as a separate element or a component of existing elements, and ensure that either this Strategic Policy Guide is adopted as a discrete element or that amendments are made to one or more existing State Guide Plan elements.

      - Point of Contact: Associate Director

      Executive Office of Health and Human Services

      * In collaboration with other relevant state agencies, inventory state owned fleet vehicles designated for use by the Departments within the EOHHS structure, in cooperation with the State's plan to transition to electric vehicles.

      - Point of Contact: Director of Legislative and Constituent Commerce RI

      * Convene business community representatives and coordinate next steps pertaining to fleet electrification and charging station installation for new and expanding businesses, such as through existing or new programs and support services and targeted outreach.

      - Point of Contact: Executive Vice President of Business Development Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank

      * Promote deployment of charging stations and electric fleet conversions for private and public entities, with an emphasis on supporting municipal, multi-unit housing, non-profit and commercial properties. RIIB will utilize both existing and new financing and grant programs to accelerate the investment of public and private capital via the Bank's relationships with state, municipal and private sector stakeholders.

      - Point of Contact: Managing Director

      Coastal Resources Management Council

      * Assess the extent to which the CRMC has a role in permitting for electric vehicle charging infrastructure; whether the CRMC may weigh non-polluting or zero-emissions marine technology in coastal permitting; and, assess ways in which the CRMC may incentivize zero-emissions transportation activities in the permitting process.

      - Point of Contact: Executive Director

      Considerations for the General Assembely.

      This Plan proposes a number of next steps the General Assembly may consider in future legislative sessions. These considerations are compiled here for easy reference. The Project Team would welcome continued discussion about any of these ideas and looks forward to further guidance and direction from the General Assembly.

      * Enact a 100% Renewable Energy Standard to enable transportation sector decarbonization.

      * Direct DOT and OER in consultation with DEM to strategically deploy federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act stimulus funding according the priorities herein and in compliance with federal guidance.

      * Identify funding to support (and sustain) incentive programs to encourage electric vehicle adoption.

      * Consider rights to charge for Rhode Islanders who rent or lease.

      * Consider rights to repair electric vehicles and charging stations.

      * Consider legislation requiring a minimum number of public parking spots having charging station access.

      * Consider passing design and functionality standards for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

      * Consider requirements to advance building codes to ready buildings for electric vehicle adoption.

      * Provide guidance on sustainable revenue mechanisms to support transportation infrastructure and transit services in an electric transportation


      In developing this Guide, we heard from Rhode Islanders that addressing climate change, alleviating public health burdens, and improving equity are critical and urgent priorities. Electrifying transportation is one strategy within a portfolio of broader mobility solutions that takes immediate action to address all three of these priorities.

      This Strategic Policy Guide synthesizes eight categories of needs identified by the public and by stakeholder organizations. For each need, the Project Team has distilled priorities that should guide future programs, policies, actions, and potential legislation. Within these priorities, we integrate equity by considering how our collective action can connect historically underrepresented and overburdened frontline communities with the energy, economic, and environmental benefits of decarbonization. In addition to integrating these priorities throughout, we also compile these priorities at the outset of our recommendations - these priorities are essential for an equitable strategy to improve access to electric transportation.

      Furthermore, the Project Team heard loud and clear that we need to demonstrate action and progress, not just planning. In response, we worked with every state agency represented on the Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4) to identify a specific action to undertake in 2022 that advances the priority recommendations laid out in this Guide, as well as a specific senior-level point person to lead each action. Agencies will be held accountable through Administration discussion and report-outs at public EC4 meetings, and progress will be tracked as part of a clean transportation dashboard developed and maintained by the EC4.

      The Project Team also respectfully identifies some potential topics members of the General Assembly may wish to consider for future legislative action. These topics include revising the Renewable Energy Standard to require 100% renewable energy, directing federal funding to support incentive programs, ensuring rights to charge at home for Rhode Islanders who rent or lease, and providing guidance for sustainable transportation infrastructure revenue streams, among others.

      Acknowledging that we have substantial work to do and that our ongoing work will need to evolve as electric vehicle penetration increases, the Project Team considers this Strategic Policy Guide as the beginning of our work rather than the completion of a deliverable. Our intent is for this Strategic Policy Guide to be a working document that will continue to coordinate action in the years to come. Along with the opportunities presented within this Guide, robust investments in renewable energy, clean thermal technologies, and community resilience will also be vital. Working together, we remain confident that Rhode Island will meet the challenges ahead, while creating new economic investment and job growth opportunities for the 21st century.

      * * *

      The full report including footnotes can be viewed at: NEWS SERVICE (founded 2004) features non-partisan 'edited journalism' news briefs and information for news organizations, public policy groups and individuals; as well as 'gathered' public policy information, including news releases, reports, speeches. For more information contact MYRON STRUCK, editor,">, Springfield, Virginia; 703/304-1897;">


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