100% Clean and Renewable Electricity Standards Proliferate Across States


CARY, NC – April 16, 2020 – EQ Research, the national energy consulting firm known for Policy Vista™, an online platform tracking and analyzing regulatory proposals, state legislation and general rate cases, releases the following maps demonstrating the current progress of existing and proposed 100% Clean and Renewable Electricity Standards in the United States, along with key insights.

As the lack of federal action on clean energy policy continues, more states are taking steps to establish policies encouraging or requiring utilities to meet 100% of their retail electricity sales through clean or renewable resources by 2050 or sooner. As depicted in the first map, six states (CA, HI, NM, NY, VA and WA), the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico have enacted legally binding 100% clean or renewable electricity standards. Six more states have set goals for reaching this target, either through legislation (CO (for Xcel Energy only), ME, and NV) or executive order (CT, NJ, and WI). An important caveat to state 100% clean or renewable electricity targets is that they do not necessarily apply to all types of utilities (e.g., small investor-owned utilities, electric cooperatives, and/or municipal utilities may be exempt), and eligible resources under such policies are defined differently in each jurisdiction (e.g., a jurisdiction may define Combined Heat and Power as “Clean” even if it uses a fossil fuel as its primary energy source).

In addition, while Governor Cooper’s Executive Order 80 in North Carolina did not explicitly set a goal of achieving 100% clean electricity, the resulting Clean Energy Plan developed by the state Department of Environmental Quality recommended a goal of carbon neutrality in the electric power sector by 2050. Similarly, Rhode Island’s Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-01 requiring multilateral cooperation between state agencies to develop an implementable action plan by the end of 2020 that will recommend legislative, regulatory, and programmatic initiatives that can be advanced beginning in 2021, to achieve 100% renewable electricity by 2030. Finally, another notable sign of progress comes from Arizona. While legislation has not been introduced, a majority of commissioners on the Arizona Corporation Commission have expressed support of a target to achieve 100% clean electricity by 2050.

In their respective 2019-2020 or 2020 legislative sessions, 13 states (FL, IL, MA, MD, MI, MN, NC, NJ, OR, PA, RI, VA, and VT) introduced legislation to establish 100% clean or renewable electricity targets, all of which except for Virginia’s legislation either remain pending or were not enacted, as shown in the second map. Most notably, Virginia recently became the sixth state, and the first in the Southeast, to set a legally binding 100% clean or renewable electricity standard. The Virginia Clean Economy Act establishes a binding renewable portfolio standard in the Commonwealth for the first time, requiring Dominion Energy and Appalachian Power to achieve a 100% renewable electricity target by 2045 and 2050, respectively, among other provisions. Clearly, policies targeting 100% clean or renewable electricity continue to maintain momentum in state governments across the country.

The above maps are also available via Tableau Public (existing and proposed).

About EQ Research

EQ Research provides policy research, analysis and data services to businesses active in renewables, energy efficiency, energy storage and electric vehicles. EQ Research’s areas of expertise include state regulatory policy and utility proposals, state legislation, financial incentives, local government policy, RPS and REC issues, net metering, rate design, and general rate cases. A recently launched product, IRP as a Data Service™, keeps subscribers up-to-date on utility and Community Choice Aggregator (CCA) energy procurement schedules from their IRPs. The product goes deep into energy resource planning, cutting through the noise, to get you verified planning information. Users get a detailed breakdown of each utility or CCA’s IRP, allowing for the quick identification of opportunities to bid resources. Don’t miss an exciting opportunity to visualize IRP data for more than 70 utilities and CCAs across the nation, all in one tool.

Prior to forming EQ Research, several of its analysts managed and operated the nationally recognized DSIRE project for the U.S. Department of Energy, from 2007 to 2013. EQ’s team also includes the founders of Keyes & Fox LLP, a firm of national legal experts in renewables, distributed energy resources (DERs) and low-carbon transportation fuels. Keyes & Fox attorneys have shaped state-level energy policy through appearances before more than 40 states’ public utility commissions, and through engagement with state legislatures across the country.

To gain expert insight from EQ Research or to learn more about other services offered through Policy Vista™, visit eq-research.com, call 919-238-4360 or email info@eq-research.com.