States Charting Paths to 100% Targets


PowerPoint version of map graphic is available for download below

The Green New Deal is the hottest topic in energy so far in 2019. While encompassing a suite of policy proposals that go beyond the energy sector, the Green New Deal’s goal of “meeting 100[%] of the power demand in the United States through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources” is perhaps its keystone underlying the economic, social and environmental transformation it envisions. Just a few years ago, a 100% clean or renewable electricity target would have been seen as a quixotic and impossibly stringent target in all but the most ambitious jurisdictions. Buoyed by national attention brought to this topic through the federal Resolution supported by the Sunrise Movement and introduced by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Ed Markey in February, as well as efforts such as Sierra Club’s ongoing Ready for 100 initiative at the local level, states have seen a dramatic uptick this year in legislation and executive proposals pushing for 100% clean or renewable energy. While many of these state-level proposals have focused more narrowly on setting ambitious standards for the electricity sector, some are now also explicitly including elements related to equity and job creation, for instance.

As shown in the map above, Hawaii, California, New Mexico and the District of Columbia are the only four jurisdictions to enact a 100% clean energy policy to date. The notes by each state identify the target year for reaching a 100% standard under the standard or study period proposed, and whether it applies to clean energy (e.g., including carbon-free sources like nuclear) or renewables only. In the 2019 legislative sessions, eight states have introduced, but not yet enacted, similar legislation, and four more have legislation that study 100% clean or renewable energy targets. EQ Research anticipates that at least three more states – Connecticut1, Michigan2, and Pennsylvania3 – are likely to introduce 100% electricity targets soon. In addition, a growing chorus of governors have thrown their support behind the concept; the map above highlights Wisconsin as a state with official gubernatorial support in its budget, but without introduced legislation, with governors in many more states with legislation supporting the concept as well. Finally, several states not included in this map, such as Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Maine have pending legislative or regulatory proposals that would significantly expand existing clean energy policies, but not to the 100% level, and North Carolina is expected to introduce a resolution on, but not necessarily legislation requiring, 100% renewables by 2050.4

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. See HB 6441.
  2. Environment America, “Nine States Campaign for 100 Percent Clean Energy,”
  3. Ibid.
  4. Ibid.