New England Facing Energy Shortfall, Report Says

By Staff March 1, 2006

New England’s energy infrastructure—including natural gas facilities, electric transmission lines and generating capacity—may be unable to meet growing energy needs in as little as two or three years, a new report argues.

The report, “New England Energy Infrastructure—Adequacy Assessment and Policy Review,” states that the region is at a critical point, with shortages of both natural gas and electricity possible by 2008. Report authors say that new investment is stalled by investor uncertainty regarding government energy policies.

The report was prepared by Boston-based Analysis Group, Inc. , and sponsored by the New England Energy Alliance , a Boston-based coalition of energy providers, businesses and trade organizations.

Report authors state that investment in new and existing power plants, transmission lines and renewable-energy projects are needed to improve reliability and pricing competitiveness.

The region’s energy prices currently are among the nation’s highest, the report notes. Five of the eight states with the highest energy costs are in New England. A consumer survey conducted in conjunction with the release of the new report indicates that 79% of the region’s residents favor more transmission lines.