Update: States Charting Paths to 100% Targets


PowerPoint version of map graphic is available for download below

Author: Benjamin Inskeep, EQ Research

Updated: May 31, 2019

As we wrote about earlier this year, 100% clean or renewable electricity standards are catching on in states across the country. The emergent energy policy trend has been catalyzed by the momentum of the proposed federal Green New Deal Resolution, which included a goal of “meeting 100[%] of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.” In the immediate term, such an ambitious policy does not carry any hope of passing at the federal level, and the Trump administration has focused its energy policy on priorities like seeking support for coal generation and rebranding natural gas as “freedom gas,” while announcing their intent for the U.S. to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation.

States have responded to the vacuum in federal action on clean energy and climate policy by passing ambitious policies of their own. As depicted in the map above, Hawaii, California, New Mexico, Washington, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia have all enacted a legally binding 100% clean electricity standard. Nevada enacted a non-binding 100% clean electricity goal, and the Colorado legislature has passed such a goal applicable to Xcel Energy. With the exception of Hawaii, which enacted its 100% renewable standard in 2015, all of these policies have been enacted in or after September 2018. In the 2019 legislative sessions, six additional states have introduced, but not yet enacted, legislation establishing a 100% clean electricity target. EQ Research anticipates that at least one more state – Michigan1 – is also likely to introduce 100% clean or renewable electricity legislation in 2019. Finally, while not establishing 100% clean electricity standards, it is worth pointing out that states including Nevada, Colorado, Maryland, and South Carolina all enacted ambitious clean energy policies this legislative session. The notes by each state in the map above identify the target year for reaching a 100% target under the standard or goal proposed, and whether it applies to clean energy (e.g., including carbon-free sources like nuclear, large hydro, and carbon capture and storage) or renewables only.

As states have begun adopting 100% clean electricity standards, some electric utilities are moving to capitalize on the popularity of these targets with announcements of their own proclaiming their intent to transmogrify their resource portfolios into a clean-energy-only mix. In December 2018, Xcel Energy became the first major investor-owned utility to announce its goal of reaching 100% clean energy by 2050. Since then, utilities including Idaho Power (2045), Green Mountain Power (2025), Avista (2045), Madison Gas and Electric (2050), and PNM (2040) have also announced goals (with their respective target dates noted in parentheses) of reaching 100% clean electricity.

Finally, utilities are not the only load-serving entities setting 100% clean electricity targets. Many of California’s 19 Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs have established aggressive clean electricity targets, while allowing customers to elect to opt-in to receiving 100% clean electricity now. For example, MCE, Peninsula Clean Energy, and Redwood Coast Energy Authority have plans to reach 100% clean electricity by 2025, and San Diego is moving forward with plans to launch a CCA in part to reach the city’s goal of 100% clean electricity by 2035. In aggregate, CCAs are expected to procure more than 10,000 MW of clean energy resources by 2030.2 To learn more about California’s CCAs, check out EQ’s recent article, “Ten Things to Know about CCAs in California.”

EQ Research comprehensively tracks renewable energy bills from all 50 states as part of its Policy Vista legislative tracking subscription service. EQ Research also offers a RPS Navigator service, which provides detailed information and monthly updates on RPS policies, tailored for retail electric supplier clients.

  1. Environment America, “Nine States Campaign for 100 Percent Clean Energy,” https://environmentamerica.org/news/ame/nine-states-campaign-100-percent-clean-energy
  2. Clean Power Exchange, “New 2030 Energy Plan Relies on CCAs to Procure 10,000 MW to Meet Climate Goals,” https://cleanpowerexchange.org/new-2030-energy-plan-relies-on-ccas-to-procure-10000-mw-to-meet-climate-goals/