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WindmillsRecent renewable energy research includes a report on Maryland Offshore Wind Development which identifies important economic and implementation barriers to offshore wind development and demonstrates a need for additional market, regulatory and policy research. Our research and GIS data contributed to the development of the Maryland Coastal Atlas by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, and to policy decisions by the Maryland Energy Administration.

As the State of Maryland moves forward with implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2009, CIER has conducted two studies supporting requirements of the Act. The studies assess how the State's GHG reduction policies will affect costs for the manufacturing sector, electricity reliability, and opportunities for employment.

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative agreement among Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States designed to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide. The State of Maryland officially joined RGGI in 2007 only after careful review of CIER’s study findings from Economic and Energy Impacts from Maryland’s Potential Participation in RGGI, conducted for the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). This was the first study to analyze the economic and environmental effects of having a heavy coal-based electric generation state like Maryland participate in RGGI.

To assist the State with implementation efforts for RGGI, CIER's team conducted a Phase 2 study, The Role of Energy Efficiency in Maryland’s Implementation of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, examining impacts of allowance auction levels and energy efficiency choices, as well as economic outcomes in the state.

For the study Strategies for Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions: Residential Natural Gas Efficiency, Economic and Ancillary Health Impacts in Maryland, also commissioned by MDE, the research team used a series of sophisticated economic projection tools to estimate the economic and environmental impacts under varying climate and appliance standards scenarios. The economic analysis considered the direct and indirect economic effects as well.

As part of a University-wide plan to make UMD carbon-neutral by 2050, CIER completed the 2009 update of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventory, and reported its findings to the UMD Sustainability Council. GHG inventories indicate progress and inform the Council’s climate action plan. CIER has assisted with GHG inventories and campus climate action planning at other campuses such as Towson University and the University of Maryland University College. CIER is working with the University System of Maryland to identify options for improving GHG emissions from campus transportation, a significant source for most campuses, through new tools for improved measurement and visualization.