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Nevada and Washington pass 100% clean electricity bills

Nevada and Washington have both passed legislation aiming for 100% carbon-free electricity in the future, becoming the fourth and fifth states to pass such bills.

Nevada’s bill requires 50% renewable electricity by 2030, with a goal of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Gov. Steve Sisolak has already signed the bill.

It’s worth noting that Sisolak and some others are playing up the renewables portion of the Nevada legislation, as opposed to the later clean electricity goal. The bill, SB358, does state: “a goal of achieving by 2050 an amount of energy production from zero carbon dioxide emission resources equal to the total amount of electricity sold by providers of electric service in this State,” in addition to the language that requires 50% of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.

Washington’s bill states that “it is the policy of the state to eliminate coal-fired electricity, transition the state’s electricity supply to one hundred percent carbon-neutral by 2030, and one hundred percent carbon-free by 2045.”

Washington’s legislation requires the state to completely do away with coal power by the end of 2025. Vox recently took a deeper look at Washington’s bill, saying that it “includes some of the sexiest utility business model reforms of 2019.” The article notes Washington currently gets about 14% of its electricity from coal, with the majority of the state’s electricity coming from hydroelectric power.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who’s running for president on a climate change-focused platform, will sign the bill. He tweeted that Washington’s bill is “the country’s most forward looking clean energy bill.”

Joining the Club

The two states join New Mexico, California, and Hawaii in setting 100% clean electricity goals for the future. Hawaii is still the only state to commit to getting 100% of its future electricity from renewable sources — not just carbon-free.

Hawaii was recently joined by American territory Puerto Rico, which aims for 100% renewables by 2050. Washington D.C. has also committed to 100% renewables by 2032.

With both Washington and Nevada setting legislative goals for renewables and 100% clean electricity, that makes five states out of 50 — and there are no signs of the momentum stopping at the state level. Illinois is pursuing a similar commitment. Governors in a number of other states, such as New York, New Jersey, and Minnesota, are also seeking plans for carbon-free electricity.

At the city level, 120 cities have committed to 100% clean, renewable energy as noted by the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign.

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