While legislators battle over federal infrastructure bills, some US states are out of the gate when it comes to adopting clean energy.

Environmental advocacy organization Environment America’s new report, “The United States of Clean Energy, Summer 2021,” summarizes clean energy progress and commitments made in 2021 state legislative sessions across the US. 

(I’d just like to note that Florida, where I currently live, isn’t one of them. Solar is rapidly growing here, but no thanks to the state legislature.)

100% renewable campaign director Emma Searson says:

Whenever I’m feeling pessimistic about the slow pace of change in the halls of our federal government, I look to the states.

In state capitals around the country, we’re seeing not just the steady march of progress, but a real race to the top when it comes to clean and renewable energy. State leaders are hearing Americans’ calls for energy that doesn’t pollute, and they are answering with action.

Here are five standouts from the spring and summer 2021 legislative sessions:

Oregon: Governor Kate Brown (D-OR) signed a bill into law committing to 100% clean energy for Oregon customers by 2040. It joins New York as the national pacesetter, tying for the fastest timeline in the US to reach this goal. Oregon is now the eighth state with a legislative commitment to 100% clean electricity.

Massachusetts: Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) signed a bill into law that commits the state to sourcing 40% of its electricity from clean energy by 2030. The act also bumped up the state’s offshore wind power target by an additional 2,400 megawatts (MW) and committed to improve energy efficiency.

California: California adopted a 2021-22 budget that includes $20 million of investments to help cities implement automatic solar permitting, plus an additional $15 million for developing offshore wind. Both are critical tools to help the state reach its target of 100% clean energy by 2045.

Map: BOEM

New Jersey: The Garden State passed a bill that will help ensure offshore wind and related transmission projects are able to move forward in a timely manner. The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities also voted to greenlight 2,658 MW of new offshore wind capacity off the Jersey Shore.

Connecticut: Connecticut adopted a new energy storage deployment goal of one gigawatt by 2030. Nine states have now adopted energy storage targets, which will help them realize their full clean energy potential while delivering reliable power around the clock. 

Photo: “Solar on Palm Desert Walmart” by Walmart Corporate is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

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